Working for a safe, affordable, vibrant, innovative, and interconnected city.
Learn More Home Page
I want to search within the following: This Department
Follow UsTwitterFacebookFlickrpodcastCouncil Connections blogRSS feeds
Seattle City Council Home Page

Visit Individual
Councilmember Pages

Seattle City Council Sally Bagshaw Rob Johnson Kshama Sawant Lorena González Mike O'Brien Debora Juarez Bruce Harrell Lisa Herbold Tim Burgess
   Home    Contact Us Council Calendar News & Updates Committees & Agendas Current Issues Council Live Research City Laws  About Us 
Council Blogs
& Social Media Links
Meeting Agenda Archive
Meeting Video Archive

Current Issues
Past Issues
Audit Committee
OPA Review Board (OPARB)
Boards, Panels & Commissions
Seattle Transportation Benefit District
Customer Service Bureau

About Us/
Frequently Asked Questions
Contact Us
Visiting City Hall
Access to City Hall for Individuals with Disabilities

Full Council Action Summary
Work Program
2012 Action Plan
2011 Annual Report
Council Visitors'
Sign in Sheets
Legislative Records

LIVE! Council Meetings
Seattle Channel
City Inside/Out
Audio Podcast

City Logo

Council News Release

12/3/2008  2:42:00 PM
Tom Van Bronkhorst, Godden Office (206) 684-8807
Newell Aldrich, Licata Office (206) 684-8803 Dana Robinson Slote, (206) 615-0061

Councilmember Jean Godden
Councilmember Nick Licata

Board unanimously passes policy and resolution directing divestment

SEATTLE Today the Board of Directors of the Seattle City Employees Retirement System (SCERS) took action to divest in companies that have business interests in Sudan. This action follows a lengthy review and analysis of the geo-political and social issues affecting the people of Sudan and specifically those suffering from genocide in the Darfur region of that country.

In todays meeting the board voted unanimously for a policy that would allow SCERS to take quick action to stop investment of city employees retirement funds in companies that have business interests in Sudan. Taking into account the boards fiduciary obligations to members of the System as its top priority the policy gives favorable consideration to investments in securities of companies that meet a high ethical and social standard of conduct. A resolution calling for divestment of funds and no further investment in companies with business interests in Sudan was introduced by Mark McDermott, Personnel Director for the City of Seattle, and also passed unanimously at todays meeting.

Councilmember Jean Godden, chair of the Retirement Board said, Im very pleased with our decision. The president and Congress have acknowledged that the government of Sudan has engaged in genocide in the Darfur region -- the first time that such a declaration has been made during the commission of such abhorrent crimes. While the retirement board is not heavily invested in companies doing business in Sudan, it is gratifying that the board, through passage of a new financial policy, was able to take this step.

Councilmember Licata said, Im proud that Seattle has joined twenty other cities divesting in companies that are doing business in Sudan. Over a year ago I requested that Seattle divest in Sudan. During that time our employees retirement board reviewed and analyzed the impact of Sudan divestment policy on our employees benefits. They decided that our retirement fund would not be adversely affected. More importantly we have now joined the effort to stop genocide in Sudan.

The Seattle City Employees Retirement System joins other municipalities and public entities across the country who have adopted similar policies including Baltimore, MD; Charlottesville, VA; Chicago, IL; Cleveland, OH; Denver, CO; Edina, MN; Los Angeles, CA; MetroWest, NJ; Miami Beach, FL; Miami Gardens, FL; New Haven, CT; Newton, MA; Palm Beach Gardens, FL; Philadelphia, PA; Pittsburgh, PA; Providence, RI; San Francisco, CA; St. Paul, MN; Washington D.C; and Worcester, MA.

The vote took place after the formulation of a policy allowing the Board to divest under certain circumstances according to prescribed guidelines. These guidelines will help the board meet its obligation to all city employees and members of the retirement system while maintaining high ethical and social standards.


City Council

Council Connection: News & Updates
Contact us

City of Seattle LogoSeattle City Hall
600 Fourth Ave. 2nd Floor
Seattle, WA 98104
Visiting City Hall

Access to City Hall for Individuals with Disabilities
Mailing Address:
PO Box 34025
Seattle, WA 98124-4025
City Customer Service: 206-684-2489
City Council Front Desk: 206-684-8888
Fax: 206-684-8587
TTY/TDD: 206-233-0025
Listen Line: 206-684-8566
Non -English Language Information