Burlington Vermont City Council Passes a Resolution
To Divest from Weapons Manufacturers in a 10-1 Vote
(July 13, 2021) — The Burlington, Vermont City Council passed a resolution on July 12, 2021 that would keep the city from investing in weapons manufacturers and requests that the Burlington Employees’ Retirement System divest from any weapons manufacturing companies if any assets are currently invested.
The resolution, introduced by City Council member Jane Stromberg, came after months of work by a coalition of activists in Vermont, which included members of CODEPINK, WILPF, Veterans for Peace, and World BEYOND War.
This is just the beginning of the coalition’s work in Vermont. If you’re interested in joining the movement to divest from the war machine, sign up here and an organizer will be in touch!
You can read the full resolution below:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council formally declares its opposition to investing City funds in any private entities that are involved in the direct production or upgrading of weapons and weapons systems used by military forces (“weapons manufacturers”), whether conventional or nuclear, and decides that it shall be City policy to divest from such entities; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this Resolution shall be binding City policy and shall be in full force and effect after adoption by the City Council and that the City Council directs any and all persons acting on behalf of City investment activity with regard to funds other than those held by the Burlington Employees’ Retirement System (BERS) to enforce the provisions of this Resolution; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City Council requests that the Board of Finance report on the extent of the City’s non-BERS investments in weapons manufacturers, if any, as soon as possible, but in any event no later than the Council’s last January 2022 meeting; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City Council requests that the BERS board provide it with a current accounting of the investments in its investment portfolio that are invested in any weapons manufacturers, including non-stock investments, as soon as possible but in any event no later than its last meeting in January 2022; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City Council requests that BERS commit to full divestment from weapons manufacturers and outline a timeline by which that divestment will be completed; and towards this end, at the Council’s last meeting in January 2022, report to the Council on the feasibility of (1) making an annual analysis and review of weapons manufacturer investments in the investment portfolio, (2) making an annual review of weapons manufacturer-free investment product availability, and (3) assessing what other public entities are doing with regard to weapons manufacturer investments.