The RFF board president Miranda Kaiser and RFF board member Neva Goodwin collaborated with the New York City controller Scott Stringer for an op-ed for the New York Daily News calling for the removal of Lee Raymond, former CEO of Exxon, from the board of JP Morgan Chase. They wrote, “Raymond is neither independent nor climate competent. He has served on the board of JPMorgan for 33 years, including 19 years in board leadership roles, and is as entrenched as it gets. During Raymond’s 42-year tenure at Exxon, he presided over a corporate strategy of climate denial. He has devoted his career to accelerating the expansion of fossil fuels, while publicly rejecting the science of climate change. . . By voting Raymond off the board entirely, we can send a message that we will not allow fossil fuel’s old guard dictate our future. That’s a legacy none of us can afford.”
Christine Neumann-Ortiz, the executive director of Voces de la Frontera (a grantee and partner of the Democracy and Power Innovation Fund), wrote an op-ed for the New York Times discussing the importance of engaging Latino voters, the youngest and fastest growing demographic in the United States. Based in Wisconsin, Voces de la Frontera approaches voter engagement through their members who leverage relationships among people they already know to make sure they register and vote. Given the likely impact of the coronavirus pandemic on voting, Christine is advocating for automatic voter registration and ballots with prepaid return postage to be mailed to all registered voters at least a month in advance of an election.
On March 18, the federal government enacted the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, a bill to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Among other things, the bill established emergency paid leave measures. This bipartisan bill is an essential first step in addressing the crisis we are all living through, and paid leave
cadvocates in Congress are pushing for further protections and to make the existing provisions permanent. Paid leave champions Senators Gillibrand and Murray and Congresswoman DeLauro introduced the PAID Leave Act to strength the Families First Act and provide these necessary long-term protections. The PAID Leave Act would permanently require employees to receive seven paid sick days (and up to 14 in the event of another public health emergency) and establish the FAMILY Act, a permanent paid family and medical leave program.
Bill McKibben’s recent piece in the Rolling Stone looks at the history of JPMorgan/Chase and its current status as the nation’s largest funder of fossil fuel infrastructure in the world. Notably, the bank has chosen to fund projects with incredibly detrimental greenhouse gas outcomes. In the article, RFF president Miranda Kaiser recounts a different time when her grandfather ran the bank and was concerned about more than the bottom line.
Read the entire piece here: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/jpmorgan-chase-bank-biggest-investor-fossil-fuels-956927/
Learn more about the coalition of organizations working together to hold financial backers of climate change accountable: StoptheMoneyPipeline.com
Inside Philanthropy recently published an article on how preemption is being used to stifle progressive policies made by local government. The article features RFF’s Local Solutions Support Center (LSSC) and quotes Kim Haddow, Director of the LSSC and our March 2018 board speaker. It highlights the collaborative funding model of LSSC and its investments in legal remedies, education, communications, and grassroots organizing.
RFF grantee the Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy (VA CFFE) hosted a telephone town hall with Gov. Ralph Northam and members of the governor’s cabinet to discuss how family friendly economic policies are crucial in the time of COVID-19. Longtime RFF partners, New America and the National Employment Law Project, also participated in the call to discuss the importance of policies like paid family and medical leave as Virginia continues to respond to the pandemic.
RFF grantee BLOC (Black Leaders Organizing for Communities) was featured in a piece in the New Yorker about the history and importance of Black Milwaukee voters in the upcoming election. BLOC’s staff and volunteers are people from the city’s urban core (known as “civic ambassadors”) who go door to door to engage people in conversation three to four hours a day, five days a week, year-round. BLOC’s canvass aims to connect Black people in Milwaukee to voting and civic engagement as a strategy to solve community problems.
RFF grantee the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) released a report showing how since 2010, the world’s largest oil and gas companies have failed to generate enough cash from selling oil, gas, refined products, and petrochemicals to cover the payments they have made to shareholders. They found that five of the largest publicly traded oil and gas firms (ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron, Total, and Shell) collectively rewarded stockholders with $536 billion in dividends and share buybacks since 2020 but only generated $329 billion in free cash flow over the same period.