CFA Ramps Up Campaign to Stop CalPERS Investments in Private Migrant Detention

Next week, CFA activists will again elevate their calls for CalPERS to stop investing in private prison operators CoreCivic and GEO Group by attending and commenting at a meeting of its Investment Committee on September 16th. This will mark the fourth consecutive Board meeting that members will have rallied at since CFA adopted a resolution to actively engage CalPERS on the matter at our 89th Assembly in April. For the record, the pension fund’s total investment in the companies amounts to just $11.4 million out of a total portfolio of $360 billion.

From our perspective, it’s a very simple matter for CalPERS,” said CFA President Charles Toombs. “From a humanitarian standpoint there is no discussion to be had. CalPERS is on the wrong side of this issue. Factoring in the miniscule financial investment in these companies should make CalPERS’ decision an afterthought. Either way, we plan to continue to be in the room to urge them to make the right decision sooner rather than later.”

On the heels of calling out the Investment Committee in June and July, our activists set out again to press the issue even harder in August, with CFA Associate Vice President Margarita Berta-Avila of CSUS, declaring: “Your [CalPERS’] investment in these private migrant detention prisons makes all of us complicit in their indefensible practices, and our members want no further part of it. You have shown leadership in a similar context before, when in 2013 CalPERS sold its shares in two major gun manufacturers. The stakes now are just as high as they were then, so please exhibit the principled leadership we know you are capable of again.”

To further raise awareness, members delivered more than 200 signed postcards at the August meeting, urging the pension giant to cease these investments. Faculty are still collecting postcards from CalPERS members across the state and will deliver them next week. Contact your chapter to sign a postcard.