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Office of Management & Finance

Trusted partner, creating smart solutions for the City and our community.

Phone: 503-823-5288

1120 SW 5th Ave, Room 1250, Portland, OR 97204

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Background

Background

On October 9, 2013, Portland's City Council passed a resolution creating a temporary five-member Socially Responsible Investing Committee. Committee members were appointed by the Mayor and consisted of individuals who represented the environmental community, the labor community, and the business community, and also individuals with expertise in economics and corporate ethics.

The Socially Responsible Investing Committee was charged with studying the City’s current investment policy and processes and making recommendations to Council for how the City could change its investment policy to incorporate social and ethical concerns, including concerns about the following:

  • The environment;

  • Health concerns including weapons production;

  • Abusive labor practices;

  • Corrupt corporate ethics and governance;

  • Extreme tax avoidance; and

  • The exercise of such a level of market dominance so as to disrupt normal competitive market forces.

The committee was also charged with considering the cost, effectiveness, and practicality of two possibilities in addition to any other strategies it might identify:

  • A standing advisory committee of public members that periodically makes recommendations to Council about a list of companies and/or industries in which the City shall not invest its cash assets; and

  • Hiring a firm with expertise in social and environmental investing to advise the Council on managing its corporate investments.

The temporary committee met in Spring 2014. The Office of Commissioner Novick and the Office of Management and Finance's Public Finance and Treasury and Business Operations Division provided staff support. The Committee's final report was submitted in July. On August 6, 2014, the committee will ask Council to accept their report.t description