EXPAND YOUR IMPACT: JOIN A CITIZEN COALITION
Building a campaign to pressure your city to divest from private prisons can create huge pressure on the prison industrial complex and its main investors. Cities’ investments are typically in the tens to hundreds of millions of dollars, so their decision to divest will be felt. Cities such as Portland, Seattle, and New York, NY have all achieved major prison divestment successes. There are already a lot of factors working in our favor in New Mexico, and especially in Santa Fe.
We need YOU to be an integral part of building this campaign!
→ EDUCATOR GOALS
→ FAITH GROUP GOALS
Encourage your faith group to divest from private prisons. In January 2012, the United Methodist General Board of Pension & Health Benefits (GBPHB) divested from the largest private, for-profit prison entities: Corrections Corp. of America (CCA) and GEO Group. GBPHB also created a new investment screen to prohibit investment in companies that derive more than 10% of revenue from the management and operation of prison facilities.
These petitions for Member Education and Mobilization are great examples of what you can introduce with your own faith community:
Concerned members of the United Methodist Church (UMC) set up a petition, United Methodists Against Unjust Investments, to raise awareness about the UMC's investments and to educate its membership about private prisons.
Learn more about the UMC pension divestment story here.
In July 2012, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) voted to affirm a statement they made in 2003 to oppose private prisons. The Resolution Calling for the Abolishment of Private Prisons also encourages individual Presbyterians and congregations to divest from private prisons.
→ Make Santa Fe A Freedom City
Freedom Cities is a movement that seeks to make entire cities, towns, and communities safe for workers, the disabled, immigrants, Black people, Muslims, LGBTQ people, and all oppressed communities.
This toolkit lays out the actions we need to take to make this happen.
More information: Freedom Cities movement
→ CITIZEN GOALS
1. Send a letter to Wells Fargo, urging the bank to fully divest from private prisons. Wells Fargo has historically been one of the main banks providing loans to private prison companies, and they are also a top shareholder in both CoreCivic and GeoGroup. On March 12, 2019, under pressure from activists, they announced that they will be exiting their relationships with private prison financing. NOW IS THE TIME TO HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE.
Write a letter to your local Wells Fargo bank urging them to not only stop financing private prisons, but to divest their stock holdings in CoreCivic and GeoGroup.
March 2019: JP Morgan Backs Away From Private Prison Finance (US News & World Report)
2. Show your support for Bills and Resolutions which work towards implementing a Socially Responsible Investment Policy for the City of Santa Fe. An SRI policy would mean that not only can the City thoroughly divest from private prison stock, it can then go on to comprehensively divest from the fossil fuel industry, exploitative labor, and more. City Councillor Villareal is ready to introduce a Resolution to push for a Socially Responsible Investment Policy - however, there are some barriers to this at the State level. We are working with a group of activists and government employees to pave the way forward in making this possible.
Sign up for our mailing list to be notified when relevant legislation is introduced so that you can help ensure it will be passed!
Check out this handy CITY DIVESTMENT TOOLKIT
If Santa Fe divested from private prisons today, what would you reinvest in?
3. Support a New Mexico State Public Bank. Even if the big banks divest from one or more reprehensible industries, they will almost inevitably still be complicit in others. The only way to ensure that the bank our public money funds is investing ethically is to have greater transparency and public control over those decisions via a public bank.
New Mexico House Memorial 41, to conduct a feasibility study on establishing a state-owned bank, was introduced by Representative McQueen on 2/13/2019. More information coming soon on how you can support this Bill.