Amid a legislative push this year for California’s public pension systems to divest from coal, a new controversy is brewing over the California State Teachers’ Retirement System’s investment in a gunmaker tied to the Newtown school shooting.
Following the elementary school massacre in December 2012, CalSTRS pledged to sell its holdings in companies that make firearms that are illegal in California. The policy extends to Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity firm that owns the manufacturer Freedom Group, whose Bushmaster rifle brand was used in the Newtown shooting. Two years later, however, the pension fund still has $375 million invested in Cerberus.
The California Federation of Teachers has planned two protests today calling on CalSTRS to follow through with its divestment promise. A “teach-in” and video screening will take place at 11:30 a.m. outside the CalSTRS building in West Sacramento, before teachers present petitions to a meeting of the pension fund’s board. A similar rally is planned outside Cerberus’ office in Brentwood at 11 a.m.
CalSTRS has expressed sympathy with the union’s frustration, but says it cannot unload its investment in Cerberus, nor can it force Cerberus to sell Freedom. Dale Kasler has more on the dilemma.
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RECIRCLE OF LIFE: Treating paper recycling as waste management rather than an industrial resource undermines the goals of recycling, says Daniel Press, a professor of environmental studies at UC Santa Cruz. He will offer strategies to improve recycling policy, noon at the UC Center Sacramento on K Street.
WHAT’S GOING ON?: What toll will rising temperatures and falling precipitation rates take on California’s water supply, infrastructure, agriculture industry, tourism and real estate over the next century? Tom Steyer will present the latest risk analysis report from his Risky Business Project, which examines the potential impacts of climate change on the state through the year 2100, 7 p.m. at the InterContinental Hotel in Los Angeles.
STOP! IN THE NAME OF LAW: State Treasurer John Chiang and former Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez present their “progressive visions” for policy solutions to inequality in the law at a panel hosted by the American Constitution Society, noon at the UCLA School of Law.
CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, who turns 45 today, and Sen. Bill Monning, D-Carmel, who turns 64.
Call The Bee’s Alexei Koseff, (916) 321-5236. Follow him on Twitter @akoseff.