Mayoral Candidates Pledge

For the 2016 Portland Mayoral race, OFP and other groups interested in maintaining the City’s Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) policy are asking all the mayoral candidates to pledge to uphold the current SRI Policy. The following is the pledge we are asking each candidate to endorse:

Pledge to Uphold Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) Policy and SRI Committee as Mayor of Portland, Oregon

The US Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment defines Socially Responsible Investing in the following way:

Sustainable, responsible and impact investing (SRI) is an investment discipline that considers environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) criteria to generate long-term competitive financial returns and positive societal impact.[1]

Common socially responsible criteria include: environmental impact, human rights, labor violations, tax avoidance, weapons manufacturing, monopolizing a given market, and corrupt corporate ethics. These in fact are the seven criteria that the Portland City Council unanimously adopted in the City’s Socially Responsible Investment Policy in December 2014. [2]

Many investment experts believe that SRI investing using these criteria is the “new normal” and will be looked at as the standard expectation for vibrant communities.[3] The Portland City Council stated its obligation to be “consistent with its responsibilities to the residents of the City of Portland” and to uphold “social and ethical obligations” to align investments with the values that Portland stands for—to maintain a “prosperous, educated, healthy and equitable society”, and to avoid investments that are contrary to those principles. [4]

There is growing evidence that shows positive links between SRI practices and solid financial returns. [5]

If elected Mayor of Portland, I pledge the following:

  1. To continue the City’s Socially Responsible Investment Policy (Resolution No. 37102) as passed by City Council in December 2014 and its seven criteria.
  2. To vote in favor of keeping the Carbon 200 companies and Walmart on the City’s do-not-buy list as long as they continue to violate the SRI policy.

[1] The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, http://www.ussif.org/sribasics

[2] Text of City of Portland Socially Responsible Investment Policy, 12/2014
https://www.portlandoregon.gov/omf/article/551431

[3] Coviello, L., SRI: Good for your conscience and your portfolio
http://www.marcumllp.com/publications-1/socially-responsible-investing-good-for-your-conscience-and-your-portfolio

[4] Text of City of Portland Socially Responsible Investment Policy, 12/2014
https://www.portlandoregon.gov/omf/article/551431

[5] The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, http://www.ussif.org/sribasics