Tell the Chicago Teachers' Pension Fund Board: Divest Chicago Schools from War!

Tell the CTPF Board: Divest Chicago Public Schools from War!

Tell the Chicago Teachers' Pension Fund Board to Divest from War! 

Right now, hundreds of millions of dollars of Chicago teachers' pension are being invested in the largest weapons corporations in the world. Teachers do the most important job in our city: don't let their pensions fund genocide, dictatorships, and war.

If you are a Chicago teacher, consider signing this petition to the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF) with your CPS school email, and share your own feelings in the comments to the CTPF.

Any questions, comments, or concerns please send to: [email protected]

*By signing this petition, you are signing up to join the CODEPINK and World Beyond War email lists.

To: Chicago Teachers Pension Fund

From: [Your Name]

To the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF),

As a Chicago resident, I am asking you to divest from companies which perpetuate and profit from war. According to its Spring 2021 report, the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund has at least $260 million invested in global weapons companies including the top five: Raytheon, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, and Lockheed Martin. With these investments, the CTPF is, most likely unknowingly, using teachers’ wages to support war and genocide. We have been made unwittingly responsible for a contribution to the worst type of crime that exists. 

Military products made by corporations that the CTPF is invested in are used for the most severe crimes on earth today. For example, the illegal invasion of Yemen from 2015 through the present has intentionally targeted civilians thousands of times, as well as food shipping ports, and healthcare facilities, creating what the UN calls the “worst humanitarian crisis in the world” [1], and what many have termed genocide [2]. U.S. corporations have provided 89% of the invaders' bombs [3], directly killing an estimated 91,800 in Yemen so far, and an estimated 223,000 more have been killed due to the loss of food and healthcare, mostly children [4]. 

Raytheon, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, and Lockheed Martin are creators of more than just one catastrophe. They’re five of the world’s largest weapons exporters [5]. They are the largest military contractors to the U.S. government, which arms 73% of the world’s dictators [6], and three fourths of all national armies that conscript child soldiers [7].

These corporations contribute to the existential threats of climate change and nuclear destruction. Just one client, the US military, emits more greenhouse gasses than most entire countries [8]. This, alongside their nuclear arms production, makes these companies a danger to all peoples and species on earth.

The CTPF reinvests our earnings to secure our future, and must make good on its commitments to “keeping the respect and trust of the participants”, and ensuring its investment practices are “in compliance with applicable laws” [9]. Even if every pension in the country invested in these companies, it would be no excuse for the CTPF. Chicagoans are responsible for our money, our actions, and each other. CTPF has invested a substantial amount of our money responsibly [10], and we are thankful for that. However, we can’t let any more of it be used in support of war crimes or genocide. We ask you to reinvest these funds somewhere else, so we will not be responsible for killing any longer.

We ask that the CTPF sell existing investments and securities in these companies and all weapons manufacturers listed on this linked database, and adopt a Socially Responsible Investment Policy prohibiting future investments in weapons producing companies.

Thank you for your kind attention to this matter.



Together with the Divest Chicago from the War Machine Coalition

[1] Humanitarian crisis in Yemen remains the worst in the world, warns UN, UN News, 2/14/19, URL

[2] Bachman, A ‘synchronised attack’ on life: the Saudi-led coalition’s ‘hidden and holistic’ genocide in Yemen and the shared responsibility of the US and UK, 2019, URL; Bachman, Jeffrey, PHD, The Conversation, 11/26/18, URL; 8 U.S. Code § 1091. Genocide, URL

[3] Trade Registers, SIPRI, URL.

To identify 89% statistic: “Supplier(s)” is set to “All”, ‘recipients’ is set to “Saudi Arabia”, “years” is set to 2015 to 2020, and “weapons” is set to missiles. Counting only the numbers “delivered”, reveals 54,989 US missiles, and 7000 from all other countries. Of 61,989 total missiles, U.S. missiles are 89% (88.7%). Of U.S. missiles delivered to Saudi Arabia, 17,493 or 32% are from Raytheon, 1,850 or 3% are from Boeing, and Lockheed sold 34,346 or 62%, Other: 2100 or 4%.

[4] Moyer, Assessing the Impact of War on Development in Yemen, UNDP, 11/23/21, URL; Yemen Snapshots: 2015–2019, ACLED, 6/18/19, URL

[5] Bowler, Which Country dominates the Global Arms Trade? BBC, 5/10/18, URL; 2021 Top 100, Defense News, accessed 12/21, URL, accsd 1/7/22

[6] Whitney, US Provides Military Assistance to 73 Percent of World’s Dictatorships, Truthout, 9/23/17, URL

[7] Stohl, The Trump Administration is Failing to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, The National Interest, 8/24/18 URL; Trump, Presidential Determination with Respect to the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008, White House, 9/28/18, URL; Obama, Memorandum for the Secretary of State, Presidential Determinations with Respect to the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008, and Delegation of Authority Under Section 404(c) of the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008, White House, 9/28/2016, URL; Obama, Memorandum for the Secretary of State, Presidential Memorandum — Child Soldiers Prevention Act, White House, 10/25/2010, URL; Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008: Security Assistance Restrictions, Congressional Research Service, 07/10/19, URL; Becker, US State Department’s Lie about Child Soldiers, 6/26/17, URL; Foreign Policy Magazine, 6/30/17, URL

[8] Kehrt, The U.S. Military Emits More Carbon Dioxide Into the Atmosphere Than Entire Countries Like Denmark or Portugal, Inside Climate News, 1/18/22, URL

[9] Mission and History, CTPF, 12/21, URL

[10] Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund Remains Leader among Pension Funds in Minority, Women and Disabled-Owned Business Enterprise Efforts, CTPF, 8/20/20, URL

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