New York City Council considers divesting from nuclear weapons
New York City Council is considering divesting its pension fund from nuclear weapons producers. On 28th January, councillors heard hours of public testimony - including from WRI affiliate War Resisters League - in support of two bills which would, when passed:
- Call for NYC to divest public employee pension funds from companies involved in nuclear weapons production and maintenance;
- Reaffirm NYC as a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone;
- Establish a New York City Nuclear Disarmament and Nuclear Weapons Free Zone Advisory Committee to examine issues related to nuclear disarmament and New York City’s nuclear-weapons-free zone status, issue reports, conduct programs, host public meetings and other educational initiatives, and make recommendations for policy and legislation in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office over a five-year period; and
- Endorse the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) City Appeal.
A study by PACE University showed that investment in nuclear weapon manufacturers, Boeing and Honeywell, make up over half of the $475 million of investments in city employees’ pension funds. Boeing is responsible for the ongoing maintenance of 400 nuclear missiles. Honeywell is responsible for producing 85% of the non-nuclear parts of nuclear weapons. The city's pension fund is managed by Citigroup. According to the Don't Bank on the Bomb website, Citigroup has, over the last three years, invested US$16.5 billion in 14 companies that produce nuclear weapons.
Over 60 people spoke in support of the bills, including survivors from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Kings Bay Plowshare activists, and lifelong New Yorkers. WRL staff person Yuni Chang spoke about the root causes of war, you can see her comments in full here:
Listen to Yuni Chang read remarks on behalf of War Resisters League at New York City Council yesterday in support of measures to divest NYC pension funds from companies invested in nuclear weapons.