Business, Central New York

New Campaign Seeks Change in CNY Through Sustainable Finance

Click the play button above to learn more about how the new Reinvestment Alliance aims to help Central New Yorkers make sustainable financial reinvestments, or read the transcript.

By Cory Berberian FAYETTEVILLE, N.Y. (NCC News) — A local initiative is looking to effect change in Central New York through sustainable finance.

The newly-formed Reinvestment Alliance is kicking off its “Reinvest CNY!” Campaign on Thursday night. The Alliance seeks to take community dollars and reinvest them in to “socially beneficial organizations and companies,” per its press release.

To do this, the Alliance will utilize a model called “Divest, Reinvest, Engage,” in which they will advise clients on which companies to divest from and reinvest in. Katelyn Kriesel, organizer of the Reinvest CNY! Campaign launch event and member of the Reinvestment Alliance, says these decisions will be based on the clients’ passions and beliefs.

“For example, if you were an individual that was very passionate on climate change, and you were to sit down with one of us from the Reinvestment Alliance, we would go over with you everything that you might have in your portfolio, or whatever it is that you are doing with your money,” Kriesel said. “We would let you know that you shouldn’t be necessarily banking with for-profit banks because they fund pipelines. So if you were against pipelines, why are you banking with an institution that funding them?”

These divested dollars would be reinvested in organizations and companies, perhaps those in the Central New York area such as local credit unions, according to Kriesel. The Alliance would also encourage its clients to ‘engage’ with the corporations from whom they divest, perhaps in the form of a message on social media.

The Reinvest CNY! Campaign launch event is set to take place on Thursday at 5:00 PM, at the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse. There will be speakers and networking sessions at the event. The Reinvestment Alliance hopes, through events like this, is to get the word out on their mission.

The Alliance has set its short-term goal of reinvesting $5,000,000 in community dollars by the end of the calendar year 2018. Kriesel hopes to look back on a successful three months.

“After the new year, we can look back and say, all of these people have participated,” Kriesel said. “What is the impact of having done that? We’ve taken money away from the companies and organizations that are perpetuating a lot of the issues in our community, and in our country, that we want to see changed.”

Kriesel says she believes that this campaign is one-of-a-kind, and potentially revolutionary. Any members of the community, no matter how much assets they have available to them, are welcome. You can find out more about Thursday’s campaign launch event here: http://events.downtownsyracuse.com/view/3314/reinvest-cny-campaign-launch