Letter to the Editor to Divest Teachers Retirement Fund

Letter writing made easy:

Tell the Teacher’s Retirement Fund to Stop Funding Climate Destruction — Send a Letter to the Editor

Daily the news is filled with reports of climate disasters and reporters are finally telling us that it’s caused by global warming. But the reports don’t tell us what the cause of our current climate crisis is and what needs to be done. Letters to the editor are a great way to get the word out about the importance of taking climate action.

If you have questions or if you sent a letter – please send a copy to rmfosterny@gmail.com 

Letter writing tips:

  • Each letter must be unique – Do not submit the same letter to two different papers.
  • Letters that refer to a recent article or letter that was printed in the paper have a greater chance of getting published. 
  • Keep the letter short – under 200 words is best.
  • Personal or local references will make it more likely to be published. For example, I’m a teacher and I’m angry that my pension invests in climate destroying fossil fuels. 
  • Read the submission guidelines for the paper and follow them carefully. 
  • Choose a couple of the talking points below and add your personal touch.

Talking Points: 

Climate:

  • We are in the midst of a climate crisis. – wildfires, super storms, record temperatures.
  • We must stop releasing greenhouse gases into the air.
  • The burning of fossil fuels is the main cause of the climate crisis. 
  • Divesting from fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) will reduce funding for the industry to invest in new projects.
  • Investing in renewable energy (wind, solar, geothermal and energy efficiency) will help the transition to our new energy future.

NYSTRS:

  • The NY State Teachers Retirement System (NYSTRS) has billions invested in fossil fuels. Before the pandemic estimated at $4.5 billion.
  • Is the 10th largest public pension fund in the US.
  • Provides pensions for 264,000 active members and 169,000 retirees and beneficiaries. All NY teachers except in NYC and other school personnel are members of the pension fund.

Why teachers care:

  • Teachers depend on their pensions for their future.
  • Teachers prepare students for the future – Lets make sure there is a future.
  • Students have taken to the streets to demand climate action. We should support them and stop funding climate destruction.
  • Institutions around the world have agreed to fully or partially divest including Cornell, Columbia and Syracuse university,  World Council of Churches, the Republic of Ireland, the California Teachers Retirement System and NYC’s pensions including NYC teachers. 

Save our Pension:

  • Fossil fuels have been the worst performing financial sector over the past decade. It is irresponsible to invest in fossil fuels.
  • A recent study found that the New York State Common Retirement Fund (CRF) lost $22 billion over the past ten years by not divesting from fossil fuels. The CRF is about twice the size of the teachers fund. 
  • The world is committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning away from fossil fuels. It makes no sense to invest in a dying industry.
  • New York’s new climate law requires NY to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% in just ten years requiring a quick transition away from fossil fuels.
  • NYSTRS pension funds’ fossil fuel investments are estimated to have lost half of their value since the pandemic. That’s a loss of over 2 billion dollars in just a few months.
  • Black Rock – the largest investor in fossil fuels is telling its clients that fossil fuels are a risky investment and they should divest. 

Where to send your letter

Send it to your local paper. Look for instructions on their website. Here is a listing of daily papers in NYS. Also please send a copy of your letter to rmfosterny@gmail.com so we can keep track.

  1. The Buffalo News – Buffalo
  2. The Citizen – Auburn
  3. Columbia Daily Spectator – New York City
  4. Daily Freeman – Kingston
  5. The Daily Gazette – Schenectady
  6. Daily Messenger – Canandaigua
  7. The Daily News – Batavia
  8. The Daily Star – Oneonta
  9. Democrat and Chronicle – Rochester
  10. The Epoch Times – New York City
  11. The Evening Telegram – Herkimer
  12. The Evening Times – Little Falls
  13. The Evening Tribune – Hornell
  14. The Ithaca Journal – Ithaca
  15. The Journal News – White Plains
  16. The Journal-Register – Medina
  17. The Leader – Corning
  18. The Leader-Herald – Gloversville
  19. Lockport Union-Sun & Journal – Lockport
  20. Metro – New York City
  21. New York Daily News – New York City
  22. New York Law Journal – New York State
  23. New York Post – New York City
  24. The New York Times – New York City
  25. New-York Tribune
  26. Newsday – Melville
  27. Niagara Gazette – Niagara Falls
  28. Observer – Dunkirk
  29. Observer-Dispatch – Utica
  30. Olean Times Herald – Olean
  31. Open Air PM – New York City
  32. The Post-Journal – Jamestown
  33. The Post-Standard – Syracuse
  34. The Post-Star – Glens Falls
  35. Poughkeepsie Journal – Poughkeepsie
  36. Press & Sun Bulletin – Binghamton
  37. Press-Republican – Plattsburgh
  38. The Record – Troy
  39. The Register Star – Hudson
  40. Salamanca Press – Salamanca
  41. The Saratogian – Saratoga Springs
  42. Star-Gazette – Elmira
  43. Staten Island Advance – Staten Island
  44. Times Herald-Record – Middletown
  45. Times Union – Albany
  46. Tonawanda News – North Tonawanda
  47. The Wall Street Journal – New York City
  48. Washington Square News – New York City
  49. Watertown Daily Times – Watertown

Wellsville Daily Reporter – Wellsville