By Betámia Coronel, US Reinvestment Coordinator 350.org
The inauguration was less than a month ago and it’s been a hard few weeks. We’ve witnessed the fights we fought so hard, Keystone XL and #NoDAPL, reemerge from their tombs because Trump and his Big Oil friends are more interested in profits than securing a safe and stable future.
As we witness the deterioration of federal policies and agencies that were created to protect us from environmental and climate chaos, we have turned our focus to true resistance in our own communities.
Over the last few weeks, we’ve watched as city after city declare themselves sanctuaries for migrants and refugees, as civil servants defy their orders, and as cities like Seattle cut their ties to banks who fund the Dakota Access Pipeline.
As this chaos continues to unfold in the halls of power, people have hit the streets. True leadership on the local level is emerging.
This is true in New York as well. Only a week ago Mayor Bill DeBlasio showed interest in ‘Seattle-style’ divestment from Dakota Access Pipeline. New Yorkers did not take this lightly. A few days later 30+ organizations sent a letter to the Mayor supporting divestment of DAPL and all fossil fuels. The following day 100+ rallied to deliver Comptroller Scott Stringer Valentine’s Day petitions to #DeFundDAPL and #DivestNY.
Following these actions, Mayor DeBlasio sent a letter to banks stating that “financing the Dakota Access Pipeline poses a serious risk for NYC pension investments”, and that the Trump administration is making the wrong decision in reinstating #DAPL.
Stringer also went public with his opposition to the pipeline when he joined 120+ investors speaking out against #DAPL. Stringer stated that “by funding this project, they are risking great reputational harm — especially if the conflict escalates. Alternatives do exist. We implore the banks involved to take meaningful action and develop a new plan that respects the tribe and the sovereignty of their land.”
This marks a clear shift in New York’s leadership and we need to see more of it. Defunding DAPL and cutting ties to dangerous pipelines is the first step; but not the last.
This is the type of bold leadership New Yorkers have been waiting for and we will continue to show up, week after week, month after month until we stop funneling billions of dollars into the pockets of Trump and his oil billionaire friends. It’s time to fully #DivestNY and reinvest in New Yorkers.
See you in the streets.