Organizational Sign-On Letter: Divest Chicago from Weapons!
We, the undersigned organizations, call on Chicago to divest all assets from weapons.
In 2018, the U.S. spent $777 billion on foreign and domestic militarism, which is 55% of the federal discretionary budget. Over $300 billion of those dollars went directly into the pockets of private military contractors who literally make a killing on killing. American taxpayers have spent so much subsidizing private military contractors, the Pentagon sent “surplus” military-grade weaponry to local police forces around the country. These are startling statistics considering 43 million people in the U.S. live in poverty or qualify as low-income, whose needs could and should be met by the money currently spent on building weapons of war.
Cities across the country are uniting their voices to decry this profit-centered and war-driven allocation of funds and call for divestment from the war machine. Chicago has a responsibility to help set the standard for what it means for a city to live its values.
1. Make no new investments in nuclear and conventional weapons producers. City funds come from the public, and should be held accountable to the desires of the City’s residents.
2. Sell existing investments tied to these companies within 1–2 years. The City should assess its holdings, pull any stocks that support the manufacture of weapons, and work to get rid of stocks, bonds, or investment funds that are invested in major arms producers. New requests for investment should also be declined. The City should apply this divestment strategy to all of the City’s activities: commercial banking, investment banking and asset management. All of these activities actively assist a company in the production of weapons.
3. Adopt a Socially Responsible Investment Policy and reinvest in clean, life-affirming solutions. The City should adopt a policy prohibiting investment in weapons producing companies. When reinvesting assets, the City should make deliberate choices about how money is invested — and should make those choices represent values of sustainability, community empowerment, action on climate, establishment of a renewable energy economy, and more.
Albany Park, North Park, Mayfair Neighbors for Peace and Justice
Chicago Anti-War Coalition (CAWC)
Chicago Area Peace Action
Chicago Area Peace Action DePaul
Chicago Committee Against War & Racism
Chicago Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines
Freedom Road Socialist Organization – Chicago
Illinois Poor People’s Campaign
Neighbors for Peace Evanston/Chicago
World BEYOND War