Social Divestment Is Socially Irresponsible
CalPERS has been in the limelight lately. Not only for its dismal returns in the past few years, but also for its investments in firearms. After the unfortunate act by a lunatic in Florida, there is a group out there stooping so low as to use shooting victims to try to shame CalPERS into divesting from firearms and other weapons. However, you can rest assured that our colleagues from the Corona Police Department have made it their mission to attend CalPERS meetings and express their dismay over divestment efforts. It seems that dismal returns are not enough for CalPERS to make decisions about what is warm and fuzzy versus what benefits its members and the agencies they represent. You, too, have the opportunity to express your dismay via the CalPERS website (www.calpers.ca.gov); simply click on “Contact” at the top of the home page and then share your concerns under the “Questions, Comments, & Complaints” option. Please take the time to send them your thoughts, as this issue also pertains to CalPERS’ efforts to divest from oil, the pipeline and other profitable investments based solely on the fact that they are socially unacceptable. This newfound effort by CalPERS to be a socially responsible investor has cost us billions. These are dollars that can be used to keep costs to cities and counties at reasonable levels.
Now that we have discussed the importance of keeping an eye on organizations that should be concerned with making money to help its members and their respective agencies, let’s talk about remembering our fallen brothers and sisters. We Must Not Forget our brothers and sisters who made the ultimate sacrifice. All of us can honor their legacy by checking the box on our state tax form to donate to the California Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation Fund. It is imperative that we make every effort to contribute to this worthy fund, which helps the families of our fallen colleagues. Whatever amount you contribute is better than no contribution. Whether you prepare your own taxes or you have someone prepare them for you, please do not forget to check the California Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation Fund donation box. (See page 36 for an example.) If you are one of the early birds and have already completed your tax return, you can go online and donate at www.camemorial.org by clicking on the “Donate Now” button on the home page.
Finally, please don’t forget to attend your local chapter meetings. PORAC represents over 70,000 members, and the chapter structure was set up to be a source of information to our members. Chapter meetings provide the opportunity to visit with and gather information about what your colleagues and the Board have been doing to prevent CalPERS from playing with your money, and to meet with the trustees of the Legal Defense Fund, Insurance & Benefits Trust and Retiree Medical Trust. For more information on the dates and times of your chapter meetings and on issues affecting your profession, visit www.porac.org.
Be safe and have fun.