Seattle Divest Ordinance Summary

Notes on Seattle’s divestment ordinance:

Preamble lays out the case against Wells Fargo, including their investments in private prisons, the allegations that they created new accounts for customers without the customers’ knowledge, and their funding of DAPL. It is also of note that the City of Seattle had previously passed a resolution stating their support for the Standing Sioux. It states that Seattle will not renew their contract with Wells Fargo in 2018 and will not make new contracts with Wells Fargo for at least three years after that.

Section 1 largely repeats information from the preamble and adds that Seattle had already stopped negotiations on a previous loan over Wells Fargo’s corrupt business practices.

Section 2 gives the text of the amended city code defining contracts, unfair business practices and other key terms. Here is their specific definition of unfair business practices:

“Unfair business practices” shall mean a system or pattern of acts or practices that a relevant federal or Washington state enforcement agency has found to be discriminatory, deceptive, fraudulent, or abusive (or similar terms) under the Washington Consumer Protection Act chapter 19.86 RCW or an applicable federal consumer protection law relating to the subject matter of the Contract) or that have violated a relevant criminal statute, as evidenced by a public enforcement order or judgement, settlement with the enforcement agency or other formal finding by the relevant enforcement agency with regulatory enforcement authority under the applicable consumer protection law, or criminal conviction.

Also of note, the amendment says that consideration of socially responsible business practices will receive a 20% weight in the contract bidding process and that the city can waive the requirement when it is ‘in the best interest of the city.’

Thanks to Cait!


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