What Next?

Where is the UU Divestment Movement?

Having passed our resolution, we have been so quiet on our list lately.  (My main excuse is that it’s been summer gardening and harvest/preservation time).

Now we’re in our implementation phase, and some of us might want and be able to return to action.

Is there action on the home front (your congregation) or in your district or region that you can tell us about?  Or are there other congregations to add to our list of divesting congregations?  Please do tell!  We love to hear bragging when it comes to UU divestment.

I thought about specifying districts or regions in this query, but, given that they are entities of the UUA, I’m assuming that they are taken care of by the resolution we passed at General Assembly.

Where do we go from here?

I’ve been collecting ideas that have been submitted to the list.  What I’ve come up with is below; please let me know if I omitted anything.

From Ellie Hall:

  • “We can write letters to the editor [LTEs] about divest-reinvest and if they are published, forward a link to the group.”  She goes on to say she’s “read that even if a letter isn’t published, it’s important in giving the paper insight into public opinion.”  I’ve heard the same thing, so I also encourage LTEs.  The Citizen’s Climate Lobby has put out some good info on getting an LTE published at  http://citizensclimatelobby.org/development/options-for-action/get-published/.

From Wes Ernsberger:

  • Provide an opportunity for congregations that have already pledged to divest to help other congregations that wish to do so.
  • Keep our website up to date with useful divestment information.
  • Continue as a discussion group to trade info/ideas that would help other aspects of the divestment movement.  Examples: college divestment, state and municipality divestment, personal divestment.
  • Track UUA’s progress.

From Vince Pawlowski:

  • Make sure UUA keeps up the pressure. Help support shareholder activism. Everywhere that Ceres and UUA show up there could be a rally outside supporting their efforts.
  • Some UU churches that still need to be approached to divest. One in southern California that still has oil wells (not just investments in ff companies) in its endowment. Many others have not even begun the conversation. Can someone make a list of the biggest undivested churches?
  • What about the Veatch Fund? Is Shelter Rock UU divested?

From Dean Littlepage:

  • UU Divest, the CSRI and IC, and others we recruit or cooperate with (350.org?) launch a campaign directed at selected mainstream investment houses to get them to offer more and better fossil-free investment vehicles, both for institutional investors like the UU endowment and for retail investors.

From me: 

  • Follow up with UUSC – have their financial people gotten the word?
  • Examine the possibility of divesting the UU Pension fund (which may serve UU staff, ministers, and4 staff at congregations).
  • Submit a program proposal/workshop application to your region or district.
  • Co-submit a program proposal with me for GA 2015, in Portland, OR.  The theme is “Building a New Way,” which is perfect for a workshop on personal and congregational divestment.

Did I leave an idea out?  What is it?

Shall we narrow down the list?  Shall those of us who are interested volunteer for these actions, depending on interest and qualifications?  Does anyone think we should do a conference call?

Terry