Most California public school teachers have no idea that CalSTRS, their pension fund, invests over $6 billion in the fossil fuel industry. It is extremely ironic that teachers, who spend their careers preparing their students for the future, have a retirement that is invested in the destruction of their students’ future and is also a financial risk to their pension.
Since CalSTRS is the largest public teachers’ pension fund in the entire country, if CalSTRS divests it will send a huge message to global financial markets that fossil fuel investments must stop.
Since Spring 2019, elementary and middle school climate strikers have been leaving school to attend board meetings in Sacramento to demand divestment. CalSTRS decided to make a new policy to silence youth and is not allowing anyone under 18 years old to be recorded or included in the public record of the meetings. Check out this short video from the students’ first time at CalSTRS.
Why This Matters
We must show CalSTRS that they cannot silence the youth and keep teachers from knowing what is happening in their boardroom and about their $6 billion investments that are funding a climate catastrophe. Since CalSTRS is the largest teachers’ pension fund in the country, what happens in California can have a tremendous impact globally.
As of October 1, 2019, only one CalSTRS board member has publicly become an ally of the youth and called for the fund to divest from fossil fuels. The youth organizers are tremendously thankful to State Treasurer Fiona Ma for her leadership. The window for the rest of the CalSTRS board members to be the leaders we need in these urgent times is closing very quickly.
What Can You Do To Get Involved?
Ask your friends to join you in doing the following:
- Tell your teachers to do the actions listed on this site and continue to follow up with them to make sure they do them: https://fossilfreeca.org/divestment-campaigns/#CalSTRS
- Ask your teacher to teach this lesson during class time
- Sign and share this petition
- Plan to attend a CalSTRS meeting to speak out about how you feel about them investing in fossil fuels. They meet in Sacramento and YVA can help arrange transportation. Their next meetings are Jan 29-31, 2020, then March 4-6, 2020, then May 6-8 2020. If you are interested in going, please contact YVA!
- Write your own email or letter to CalSTRS telling them why you need them to divest from fossil fuels.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org and please cc email@example.com
- Mail physical letters to: P. O. Box 15275 Sacramento, CA 95851-0275
- You can also call 916-414-2201