Riverside Participates in Divestment Campaign

The Riverside Church is committed to our beloved earth.

Riverside members recently participated in the campaign to induce Thomas DiNapoli, the NYS Comptroller, to divest the NYS pension funds, known as the Common Retirement Fund, from fossil fuel companies.  Among congregations in New York State, we were the second leading congregation in terms of signatures collected, with 125 people signing the petition!  That is something to be very proud of, and it also will have a real impact on the status and viability of those corporations putting our climate and our planet in jeopardy!  DiNapoli has now divested the $226 Billion fund from coal companies and tar sands companies, and is considering further divestment from oil and gas companies.

Thank you letter to all the faith community signers:

Dear faith leader,

Thanks to you and your congregational members, we have much to celebrate. New York State Comptroller DiNapoli announced last week that he is divesting tar sands stocks from the Common Retirement Fund (CRF) which he controls. This follows an earlier announcement that he has divested the CRF of 22 coal companies. By 2025, he will complete his review of gas and oil companies and will likely divest from most of those companies as well.

As you may remember, the Interfaith Climate Justice Community (ICJC) worked to get faith community members to sign on to a petition to Comptroller DiNapoli. We requested that he divest the Common Retirement Fund (CRF) from all fossil fuels, assets worth billions of dollars. Thanks to your signature, and those of 680 other congregational members, combined with the efforts of the NYS Council of Churches and Divest New York, we won!

While there is more to do–you will hear from us again about other faith-based climate justice initiatives. Please find an attachment of our thank you letter to Comptroller DiNapoli.


Sister Eileen O’Connor and Roger Cook, ICJC Co-Convenors

A statement from Divest NY acknowledging the role the faith community played in the Comptrollers divestment decision

Dear Congregational Divestment Supporter,

.  .  . We at Divest NY wanted to extend a hearty thank you to members of the faith community who were such impactful allies in the divestment campaign.

The Comptroller’s decision came after years of pressure from many members of the community, including legislators, economists, academics, activists, etc.  None were more important than the faith community.  You speak with a moral authority that is second to none.  And given that the Comptroller is an active member of his church, there can be no doubt that your voices rang in his ear in a special way.

Divest NY Coalition