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DAVID W. KAISER, FORMER RFF PRESIDENT, 2015-2019

The Rockefeller Family Fund is profoundly sad to announce the death of its former beloved president, David W. Kaiser. David was president from 2015 to 2019 and served as a trustee of the Family Fund for twenty-two years.

 

Lee Wasserman, the Rockefeller Family Fund’s director, issued the following statement:
 

“David was always restless about how society treated people unfairly and how painfully slow we were to address these injustices. He felt a deep responsibility and urgency to use his position to address problems directly, even if it meant taking on powerful corporations or governments.  David had an enormous, brave heart, was a brilliant communicator, and demonstrated a willingness to take bold, strategic risks. He was a gentle, supportive soul, and a dear friend. His legacy of good works will light our way toward a more just and ecologically vibrant world for decades to come.”

 

You can learn more about David’s remarkable life in this New York Times obituary.

Updates

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RFF'S LARRY SHAPIRO PENS OP-ED IN HOUSTON CHRONICLE:

The Houston Chronicle recently featured an op-ed by RFF's Associate Director Larry Shapiro on the recent cancellations and standstills that pipeline developments have faced around the country.  In the op-ed, Shapiro details how, even with victories in court, pipeline developers are still canceling new pipelines due to pressure from opponents with concerns about water quality, eminent domain, and high utilities bills.

Read the entire op-ed here

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RFF GRANTEE VOCES DE LA FRONTERA FEATURED IN THE NEW YORK TIMES:

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.

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FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PASSES EMERGENCY PAID LEAVE:

On March 18, the federal government enacted the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, a bill to address the COVID-19 pandemic. 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.

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BILL MCKIBBEN ON BANKS FUNDING FOSSIL FUEL INFRASTRUCTURE :

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. 

Read the entire piece here: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/jpmorgan-chase-bank-biggest-investor-fossil-fuels-956927/

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VA CFFE HOSTS TELE-TOWNHALL WITH GOVERNOR:

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.

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BLOC FEATURED IN THE NEW YORKER:

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.

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IEEFA REPORT ON THE CHRONIC SHORTFALLS IN CASH FLOWS OF OIL AND GAS COMPANIES:

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.

Read the full report here: https://ieefa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Living-Beyond-Their-Means-Five-Oil-Majors-Cannot-Cover-Dividends_January-2020.pdf