CORVALLIS, OR: On Monday, November 7, 2022, the Corvallis City Council unanimously passed a resolution to prohibit the city from investing in companies which produce weapons of war. The resolution passed following years of advocacy work by the Corvallis Divest from War coalition, including an initial hearing in February 2020 that did not lead to a vote. A video recording of the November 7, 2022 City Council meeting is available here.
The coalition represents 19 organizations: Veterans For Peace Linus Pauling Chapter 132, WILPF Corvallis, Our Revolution Corvallis Allies, Raging Grannies of Corvallis, Pacific Green Party Linn Benton Chapter, Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism Corvallis, Corvallis Palestine Solidarity, World BEYOND War, CODEPINK, Race Matters Group of Corvallis United Church of Christ, Electrify Corvallis, Corvallis Interfaith Climate Justice Committee, Corvallis Climate Action Alliance, OR Physicians for Social Responsibility, Buddhists Responding – Corvallis, Oregon PeaceWorks, NAACP Linn/Benton Chapter, Sangha Jewel, and Sunrise Corvallis. The Divest Corvallis resolution at the time of passage had over 49 individual endorsers as well.
The City of Corvallis joins New York City, NY; Burlington, VT; Charlottesville, VA; Berkeley, CA; and San Luis Obispo, CA, among other cities in the U.S. and worldwide, in committing to divest public funds from weapons of war. While Corvallis does not currently hold investments in weapons manufacturers, the passage of this resolution marks a significant commitment for the city to support peace and life-affirming industries in all future investments.
“I want to help create a better world that can live constructively. The human gift of the capacity for problem-solving needs to be nurtured more than war’s vast infrastructure […] We must think our way there together. This Divest from War Resolution is a way for us to practice imagining new futures as a community,” said Linda Richards, Divest Corvallis member and teacher at Oregon State University.
The Divest from War resolution builds off of the momentum of Corvallis’ robust peace and climate justice movements. In the public comment section of the November 7 meeting, coalition member and former Ward 7 councilor Bill Glassmire spoke about the 19 year-long daily peace vigil held in Corvallis by late activist Ed Epley, which eventually led to the formation of the Corvallis Divest from War coalition. The resolution honors this legacy by including historical warnings about U.S. militarism from Dwight Eisenhower, Martin Luther King Jr., and Winona LaDuke. The Divest from War coalition also bases its work in the climate justice movement, citing that the U.S. military is the biggest institutional producer of greenhouse gasses in the world.