Former mayor — and congressional hopeful — Bill de Blasio is calling out the state teachers union for investing $13 million of its pension funds with firms that manufacture guns and ammo following the shooting massacre of 19 students and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas.
De Blasio is urging both the New York State Teachers Retirement Fund and the NYS Common Retirement Fund representing state and local government workers and retirees — separately overseen by state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli — to divest their holdings in the weapons industry.
The holdings of the two pension funds combined in gun and manufacturing firms add up to $26 million.
The NYS Teachers Retirement Fund has assets in Sturm Ruger, Vista Outdoor Inc. Olin Corp. (Winchester Ammo) and National Presto Industries, records show.
The state comptroller’s office said in a statement that already divested gun companies after Sandy Hook.
At the end of April, the New York City Council took a bold step and approved a city-sponsored retirement plan for private-sector employees who do not have retirement coverage at work, creating the city’s first ‘auto-IRA’ (individual retirement account). SCEPA’s Retirement Equity Lab, which testified in support of the policy, estimated the New York auto IRA plan will provide coverage to 2.8 million city workers that today have none.
Mayor de Blasio signed the bill last week implementing the city’s auto-IRA program.
The NYC Auto IRA Bill Is Well- Designed
Employers with more than five employees will have to automatically deduct a percentage of their workers’ pay and forward it to city-facilitated, not-for-profit IRAs. (Employers with less than five employees, self employed, and gig workers need to voluntarily join.) Auto IRA account’s are individually-owned and professionally managed, and administered by an independent board headed by city-appointed trustees. While employers are required to participate, employees would have the right to change their contribution rates or opt-out of the program. The plan is also portable; participants can maintain their accounts when they change jobs.
So he [NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio] hasn’t acted with much urgency as the murder rate rose 47 percent last year, to a total of 468 people killed, and has risen this year, so far, by 17 percent.
In London, the global city that most closely resembles Gotham, the murder rate plummeted last year. It fell to 126 from 150, down 16 percent.
Why? Well, that’s obvious: It was the global pandemic. “Many, many crime types have reduced as you would expect,” said Met Police chief Cressida Dick, noting that fewer people were outside to fight with each other.
How about Italy, hit hard and early by the pandemic? There, murders fell by 14 percent, to 271 from 315.
France with its troubled banlieues? The country’s murders were down 2 percent in 2020, to 863.
But these are all safe countries anyway. So what about cartel-ridden Mexico? There, murders fell by slightly less than half a percent last year, to 34,523 — the first decline in six years.