Resolution Encouraging Socially Responsible Investment in Arlington

Resolution Encouraging Socially Responsible Investment in Arlington

A RESOLUTION ​encouraging Arlington to promote socially responsible investment.

WHEREAS, ​Arlington County strives to be a green, sustainable community, with a goal of lowering its carbon footprint 75% by 2050 and a public commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement.

WHEREAS,​ Arlington strives to be a welcoming and inclusive community, where diversity is not simply tolerated but appreciated and celebrated.

WHEREAS, ​the Arlington County Democratic Committee believes that Arlington County residents would support their county investing in valuable social and environmental causes, such as companies that make an effort to curb pollution and protect the environment.

WHEREAS,​ Arlington County maintains relationships with numerous financial institutions for both governmental operations and employee retirement investment.

WHEREAS,​ thanks to the investigatory power of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and industry whistleblowers, the public has been made aware of unsavory practices by several financial institutions that appear to be at odds with Arlington’s values, including:

    • Charging higher interest rates to black and Latino customers and pushing them into subprime loans;
    • Receiving failing ratings under the federal Community Reinvestment Act, which tests whether lenders are meeting the needs of low-to-moderate-income residents;
    • Changing the terms of borrowers’ home mortgages without their knowledge or consent;
    • Bankrolling controversial projects with potential negative effects on the environment, indigenous rights, property rights and low-income communities; and
    • Bankrolling the private prison industry.

WHEREAS,​ research has shown that by investing in companies that are socially responsible and accountable, investors will realize financial gain and feel positively about contributing to a worthy cause.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, ​as follows:

  1. The Arlington County Democratic Committee supports socially responsible investing.
  2. Arlington County should research its authority under Virginia state law to consider social responsibility in its evaluation of the financial institutions used by the County government and, to the extent necessary, work with the Arlington representatives to the Virginia General Assembly to pass legislation that would give the county any additional
    authority needed to fully implement a socially responsible banking and investment policy.
  3. Simultaneously, to the extent permitted by Virginia state law, Arlington County should develop—with community input and consent—socially responsible banking and investment criteria that are incorporated in an ordinance, policy statement, or similar actionable guideline against which the county’s financial institutions must be evaluated at regular
    intervals.

Passed and Approved this Resolution on the 6th day of June, 2018.

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