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San Francisco Employee Retirement System Retirement Board Commissioners: Protect fund investment with motions to halt illegal discriminatory lending

To San Francisco City Employees, Retirees, and allies,

What: SFERS Retirement Board Considers Motions on Bank Lending and Foreclosure Policies
When: 2:00pm-2:30pm on Wednesday, April 10 (arrive by 1:30pm to ensure entry)
Where: 30 Van Ness Avenue, 3rd floor, near Market Street, San Francisco

A coalition of current and retired San Francisco City and County employees and allies has proposed two motions to protect our retirement funds from illegal, predatory, and discriminatory bank lending and foreclosure policies which the San Francisco Employee Retirement System (SFERS) Retirement Board will consider at their next meeting.

SFERS Social Investment Procedures require the SFERS Retirement Board to consider "Community Relations: the relationship of the corporation to the communities in which it operates shall be maintained as a good corporate citizen through… supporting the local economic, social and cultural climate, conducting acquisitions and reorganizations to minimize adverse effects and not discriminate
in making loans or writing insurance".

A record number of San Francisco City and County employees, as well as others residents of San Francisco and beyond, are facing mortgage loan defaults, foreclosures, and evictions (an estimated 12,000 foreclosures in San Francisco between 2008 and 2011). Many have already lost their homes.

Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, and Bank of America are the market leaders in foreclosures and related evictions here in San Francisco and statewide. These banks engaged in illegal, predatory, and discriminatory practices by putting African-American and Latino borrowers into higher-cost, subprime loans than white borrowers. In fact, in July 2012, Wells Fargo agreed to pay $175 million to settle a United States Department of Justice lawsuit for its discriminatory mortgage lending practices affecting more than 30,000 borrowers, including those banking at the Bayview Wells Fargo branch.

Billions of dollars in mortgage lender settlements with government agencies and other parties have to date not managed to solve the mortgage lending crisis, making mortgage lenders and servicers a potential medium-term and long-term investment risk. Illegal, predatory, and discriminatory foreclosures harm all homeowners, erode the property tax base, and cost local governments, hurting the standard of living of retirees and all working people.

We are writing to enlist your support in passing these motions:
1. Send a letter to the SFERS Retirement Board requesting that the Commissioners uphold their fiduciary duty to protect retirements funds from investment risks of banks engaged in illegal, predatory, and discriminatory lending practices and call on the banks to stop these practices and offer affordable loan modifications.
2. Send a representative from your group to speak for about 1 minute at the meeting.
3. Invite all the members of your group to attend the meeting.
4. Invite us to speak about bank lending and foreclosure issues at one or more of your meetings.


Representatives of SEIU 1021, RECCSF, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, Occupy Bernal, Occupy Noe, and the Occupy the Auctions and Evictions Campaign

This petition was delivered to:
  • San Francisco Employee Retirement System Executive Director
    Commissioner Wendy Paskin-Jordan c/o Jay Huish
  • San Francisco Employee Retirement System Executive Secretary
    Norm Nickens

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