Update: Nine housing justice activists staged a “magical, transformational intervention” of the San Francisco Employee Retirement System (SFERS) Retirement Board meeting on June 12, 2013, in which masked players impersonated the Retirement Board Commissioners and explained why they had a change of heart, then passed two motions to engage banks like Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and JP Morgan Chase on their illegal, predatory, and discriminatory lending practices according to the long-standing SFERS social investment policy.
The nonviolent protest took place at the time that has been reserved for public comment for the past 20 years until the public comment period was moved to the end at the last SFERS Retirement Board meeting in May, requiring those wanting to make public comment to wait through three to four hours of deliberations before getting a chance to speak. SFERS Executive Director Jay Huish had also canceled, for no other reason than his “discretion”, a May 29th Special Meeting to discuss the motions on discriminatory bank lending requested by SFERS Commissioner Malia Cohen, who also serves on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
The San Francisco Employee Retirement System (SFERS) Retirement Board is refusing to debate two motions regarding investments in banks engaged in discriminatory lending. For the sixth month, Foreclosure and Eviction Fighters and their supporters from the vast majority of SFERS current and retired employee organizations will demand that the Retirement Board consider these motions to urge the banks to halt their predatory lending practices and to stop evicting our neighbors from their homes and make it right for those who have already been evicted.
What: SFERS Retirement Board Meeting on Predatory Bank Investments
When: 1:30pm on Wednesday, June 12 (go immediately to sign in and stand in line at the door to get a seat — no protest in front of the building this time)
Where: 30 Van Ness Avenue, 3rd floor, near Market Street, San Francisco
SFERS Commissioner Herb Meiberger introduced the motions at the April 10, 2013, SFERS Retirement Board meeting with overwhelming support from current and retired city employees served by the retirement system (read Commissioner Meiberger’s remarks about the meeting here).
Current and retired city employees, Foreclosure and Eviction Fighters, and supporters from Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 1021, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), Occupy Bernal, Occupy Noe, and the Occupy the Auctions and Evictions Campaign provided important testimony about the illegal, predatory, and discriminatory practices of banks like Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, and Bank of America at meeting of the San Francisco Employee Retirement System Retirement Board on January 9, February 13, March 13, April 10, and May 8, 2013.
At each meeting, the group asked the Retirement Board to uphold its fiduciary responsibility to investigate the illegal, predatory, and discriminatory practices of the banks, to request that the banks stop these practices, to sponsor shareholder resolutions if they don’t stop, and some asked the banks to divest from the banks’ stocks if the shareholder resolutions do not succeed. Some of the Commissioners responded favorably to the public comment testimony.
- Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 1021
- Retired Employees of the City and County of San Francisco (RECCSF)
- San Francisco Labor Council
- Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE)
- Chinese Progressive Association
- Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco
- Jobs With Justice San Francisco
- Occupy the Auctions and Evictions Campaign
- Occupy Bernal
- Occupy Noe
- San Francisco Tenants Union
- Tenants Together
- Unitarian Universalists for Peace – San Francisco
Wells Fargo is putting 32 families at risk of losing their homes due to foreclosure and related evictions. Wells Fargo is foreclosing on and evicting veterans and disabled and senior homeowners and families with children, as well as targeting homeowners with life-threatening illnesses. Wells Fargo has engaged in predatory, fraudulent, and racist lending practices and has contributed to a rash of foreclosure deaths.
Statement Read by ACCE/Occupy Organizers at May 8, 2013, SFERS Retirement Board Meeting Petition Supporting SFERS Motions SFERS Retirement Board Meeting on April 10, 2013 Agenda for SFERS Retirement Board Meeting on April 10, 2013 Staff Memo for SFERS Retirement Board Meeting on April 10, 2013 SFERS Social Investment Policy Members of SFERS Retirement Board SFERS Retirement Board Meeting on March 13, 2013 SFERS Retirement Board Meeting on January 9, 2013 San Francisco Business Times KCBS (including audio segment) Wells Pays $234.3 Million to Resolve Allegations of Racial Discrimination in Providing Mortgage Loans Occupy Our Homes Wells Fargo Bayview Branch Action Occupy Wells Fargo Noe Branch Occupy Wells Fargo HQ Occupy Senior and Veteran Evictions and Foreclosures (Occupy Anniversary)
For updates: http://occupytheauctions.org/wordpress/?p=9983