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Portland Is First U.S. City to Divest Funds from Walmart

Portland Light Brigade
On Thursday, May 15, the city of Portland, Oregon got rid of $9 million, or 25 percent of its investments in Walmart. This marks the beginning of a divestment program that will purge Portland's investment portfolio of $36 million in Walmart bonds by 2016, according to  a press release. The divestment plan is part of the city's responsible investment initiative, introduced by City Commissioner Steve Novick, and adopted in October 2013. The initiative also prohibits the city from purchasing Walmart bonds in the future.

Portland is not only discontinuing its investments in Walmart, but has set up a committee to advise it on making socially responsible investments in the future. The committee will address issues like abusive labor practices, corruption, and health concerns, among other things.

Meanwhile, the company's net income fell 5 percent, and shares fell 2 percent, in the first quarter of 2014, failing to meet Wall Street's expectations for the third time in five quarters.

Walmart blamed its poor performance on bad weather.

A version of this piece was originally published on Yes! Magazine.

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