At the Ann Arbor City Council meeting tonight at 7:00 PM, there will be an opportunity for the Council to reconsider its 5-4 vote AGAINST fossil fuel divestment. If you an Ann Arbor resident who cares about moving us forward on this issue, please contact your council member TODAY to voice your opinion. Due to Council protocol, if the measure is not passed today, it cannot be raised again for another year.
These council members voted YES to divest City retiree funds from fossil fuel corporations:
Sabra Briere (Ward 1), Sumi Kailasapathy (Ward 1), Christopher Taylor (Ward 3) and Chuck Warpehoski (Ward 5).
These council members voted NO: Stephen Kunselman (Ward 3), Margie Teall (Ward 4), Mike Anglin (Ward 5) and Sally Petersen (Ward 2).
plus the mayor, John Hieftje
PLEASE NOTE: Mayor Hieftje replied to my email this afternoon and noted that he voted YES to the proposal the first time around, and that as a member of the Energy Commission he spoke strongly on its behalf.
I apologize to the mayor for inadvertently misrepresenting his position, as I did in my reply to him, and I apologize to any of you who might have acted on that mistake of mine.
These members were absent: Jane Lumm (Ward 2) and Marcia Higgins (Ward 4).
Here are their emails:
JHieftje@a2gov.org; SKailasapathy@a2gov.org, SPetersen@a2gov.org; CTaylor@a2gov.org; MTeall@a2gov.org; CWarpehoski@a2gov.org; SBriere@a2gov.org; JLumm@a2gov.org; SKunselman@a2gov.org; MHiggins@a2gov.org; MAnglin@a2gov.org
(A thank you to those who already voted YES couldn't hurt.)
More details from my friend J.P. (my emphasis added):
The [Ann Arbor] Energy Commission put forward a resolution to be approved by City Council last Monday regarding recommending divestiture in fossil fuels of the City retirement accounts – along the lines of McKibben’s Do the Math Campaign For the first time in history, Council voted against adopting an Energy Commission resolution. The text of the resolution is linked here.I'd add this one, too:
There is one opportunity (without waiting a full calendar year) this coming Monday, 9/16, to bring the issue back to Council. Will you help by contacting the whole Council (emails listed below) and letting them know in which ward you vote and telling them why it is important to adopt the resolution? (See some reasons below.) ... Your letter in support will be helpful in getting it passed this time.
Important reasons: (Best in your own words)
1) City Council approved the Ann Arbor Climate Action Plan last year. This resolution will, in a small way, be one more step towards achieving the goals of that plan. If we are providing funds for fossil fuel companies we are inherently supporting the burning of fossil fuels.
2) It asks the Retirement Service to look into reinvesting in renewable energies and other non-fossil fuel investments which may provide more secure investments as fossil fuel investments become riskier, as they will as events(think BP spill), laws and public policies change
3) Their asking for the creation of non-fossil fuel funds will stimulate the creation of non-fossil fuel funds (i.e. creating a market)
4) It sends a message to fossil fuel companies, other governments, and the population as a whole that we are serious about tackling climate change.
5) It avoids the appearance or actuality of a conflict of interest, while we promote a transition to a green energy-based economy.
Thanks for taking action and for spreading the word!