On Sept. 24, the Chicago City Council unanimously passed -- 50-0 --
, urging the Municipal Employees' Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago to divest from foreign companies seeking to economically boycott Israel.
Alderman Michele Smith (43rd Ward) and Alderman Debra Silverstein (50th Ward) were the chief co-sponsors of the resolution.
The vote follows a similar action taken by the Cook County Board of Commissioners July 29. Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer was the chief sponsor of
County Resolution R15-4701
Modeled after the State of Illinois' historic anti-Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction (BDS) legislation, these recently adopted resolutions encourage the respective pension boards to divest from foreign companies that engage in economic boycotts against Israel. In both instances, JUF's Government Affairs department worked with the resolutions' co-sponsors and prepared fact sheets and talking points for supporters; in the case of the city ordinance, they also worked with Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
"We are grateful for the great partnership we enjoy with elected officials - and their staff - at every level of government," said JUF President Dr. Steven B. Nasatir and Chairman Bill Silverstein in a memo to the JUF Board of Directors. "Our 30-plus years of this work is a priority."
With support from JUF advocacy efforts,
Illinois was the first state to adopt binding anti-BDS legislation
earlier this year.