LA Controller Calls for City Pension to Divest from Russian Investments

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Los Angeles Controller Ron Galperin urged the city today to identify any Russian investments held by the city's three retirement plans and take action to divest from them in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The city has a combined $46.2 million in Russian securities as of March 31 in its three retirement plans: the Los Angeles Fire and Police Pensions, the Los Angeles City Employees' Retirement System and the Water and Power Employees' Retirement Plan, according to Galperin's office.

``Due to the heinous war crimes committed by Russia, I believe the city of Los Angeles should explore every option and take every measure in our power to support the people of Ukraine,'' Galperin said.

Galperin added that he understands ``there are financial complexities to consider when discussing divestment from current assets, but acting in solidarity with those suffering and taking a strong stand against violations of international law is in the interest of current and former city employees, and the residents of Los Angeles.''

The pension funds have assets of more than $74 billion, with more than 100,000 people enrolled, according to Galperin's office, which said the funds' boards have the sole and exclusive responsibility to make decisions regarding investements. Galperin said he sent a letter to the retirement boards' presidents urging them to identify the Russian investments and take steps to divest.

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