Coalition member and San Francisco Hispanic Chambers of Commerce President, Carlos Solórzano, recently wrote a letter to the editor at the San Francisco Chronicle voicing his frustration with the divestment movement and its impact on pension funds. His irritation specifically stems from divestment action by the Oakland Police and Fire System, which has been inquiring into the social action instead of focusing on their responsibilities to the pension holders. In fact, as Solórzano points out, by divesting from steady and reliable stocks, the board is undermining the strength of the fund which could ultimately harm present and future police officers and fire fighters.
Below is Solórzano’s letter:
California has a pension problem. It’s a pretty clear fact. With billions of dollars in unfunded liabilities, I am concerned for the impending crisis. But instead of addressing the issue, I was dismayed to learn about the recent inquiry by the Oakland Police and Fire Retirement System about divesting from fossil fuel companies.
If finalized, this move on the pension would not only violate the board’s fiduciary responsibility to act solely in the best interest of PFRS, but it would actually endanger the fund by undermining the pension’s strength and security. Additionally, if PFRS fails to grow, the city of Oakland is obligated to fund it through taxpayers’ dollars or in the form of cuts to services like laid-off police officers. Californians need to hold the PFRS board accountable.
Their agenda should not reflect social policies, but rather decisions that look to serve the betterment of the pension. This is a critical issue that should not be ignored. Otherwise, deserving firefighters and police offers will bear the brunt of the aftereffects.