On January 16, 2014, Media Borough Council unanimously passed a resolution to divest Borough employee pension funds from companies that manufacture assault weapons, semi-automatic weapons, and high capacity ammunition magazines for commercial sale.
Responding swiftly to a written request from Delco United submitted on January 5th, Councilperson Kent Davidson, Chair of the Finance Committee and a supporter of Delco United, introduced the measure; and Mayor Bob McMahon, an active member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, spoke strongly in favor of the new policy. All seven members of Council, four of whom took office just 10 days ago, voted in favor of the resolution.
The resolution, modeled after a similar one passed in 2012 in Cheltenham Township, calls on the Borough’s pension manager, the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs (PSAB), to implement the policy as soon as possible. Although PSAB is under no legal obligation to do so, we hope that the strong message from Media, which is the largest investor in PSAB’s pooled fund, will carry some weight.
Delco United plans to approach other Delaware County municipalities, including the other boroughs that manage their funds through PSAB, with similar requests. We think that Media’s decisive action will serve to inspire other entities to take a stand against public investment in gun profiteering.
Wouldn’t it be great if our local communities could join with New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago, California, and Rhode Island and grow this divestment movement until it succeeds like the South Africa divestment movement did? If you are interested in learning about how to approach your own town with a divestment request, please contact us as soon as possible. Together, we can do it!
Thank you to the Delco United supporters who attended the meeting and applauded the decision. It is important to affirm courageous actions by elected officials and for the press to see public support for such policies.
UPDATE: On March 4, 2014, PSAB’s Municipal Retirement Trust (MRT), at the request of Media Borough, sold its full position (1800 shares) in Sturm Ruger & Company. MRT handles 212 municipal pension accounts in the state of Pennsylvania.