CalSTRS is the California State Teachers Retirement System. It's an elected board of 12 teachers/school administrators that decide where to invest the pension funds of all CA public school teachers. Today, over 6 billion dollars of teacher money is invested in fossil fuels (coal, gasoline, natural gas.) Only 3 members of the CalSTRS board support divesting this money.
The Divest CalSTRS campaign demands that teachers invest their pension funds in their students, not in the destruction and racism of the fossil fuel industry. We are dismantling environmental racism and climate destruction through defining the fossil fuel industry. We hope to start a chain reaction, where no one’s money goes towards these injustices.
Teachers & Students at a CTA conference
We’ve been organizing at local and state levels to push for divestment. We’ve put focus on powerful statewide unions like the CTA (California Teachers Association), SEIU (Service Employees International Union), and CFT (California Federation of Teachers). In addition we are organizing at the local level, encouraging youth to uplift
and push for divestment within their communities. This translates to local union and local CA representative support.
“I am not and should never be expected to be okay with the damage that fossil fuels have caused in my community. I am not okay with asthma, cancer, and other respiratory illnesses in my family because of the poor air quality that’s a result of fossil fuels here. I’m not okay with the sickness and death in my community because of fossil fuel companies. Institutional investors have a fiduciary duty to protect the health of their investments. They also have a moral responsibility to protect the health and lives of their shareholders and their community. CalSTRS says divestment is a last resort action. Witnessing my community suffer, watching my state burn, and hearing how scientists describe my future, I can't imagine what could be a better time for a last resort option.”
Lizbeth, 18, Richmond