Last week, the city of Portland, Ore., put its socially responsible investment principles into action by divesting about $9 million from Walmart. The City Council adopted a resolution in 2013 that banned the city from making any future investments in Walmart. Accordingly, when each of the city's five holdings in Walmart bonds mature, the city will not reinvest. Last week's divestment represented one quarter of the city's total investment in Walmart, the last of which will expire in April 2016. City commissioner Steve Novick and United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) representative Bob Marshall highlighted the significance of the occasion in a press release: “From what I can tell, no other U.S. city has looked at socially responsible investing in quite the same way as Portland,” said Commissioner Novick. He added, “I’m hopeful other cities and states take note and adopt similar investment principles to hold companies accountable and align our investment policies with our values.”… “A company’s policies and practices have a direct impact on families and individuals living and working in Portland,” said UFCW representative Bob Marshall. “A city’s investments should reflect the values of its taxpayers, and Walmart is consistently out of step [with] Portland values.”
Sarah Berlin is an intern at In These Times.