Atma Foundation

PO Box 4943 Portland, Oregon 97208

May 30, 2013

Re: Conflict Free City Resolution for the City of Portland

Dear Mayor and City Officials, I would like to bring to your attention a unique opportunity for the City of Portland to play a powerful role in helping end the violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where the deadliest conflict since World War II continues to this day. By passing a resolution regarding the use of Congo’s conflict minerals in consumer electronics products which the city has contracts with, the City of Portland would join the cities of Pittsburg, PA, Edina, MN, and St. Petersburg, FL and become one of the first cities around the country, and the first city on the West Coast, to demonstrate their commitment to peace in Congo. As you may be aware, gold, tin, tungsten and tantalum sourced from Congo’s mines can be found in the consumer electronics products we use every day. Jewelry, aerospace, automotive, and defense industries also use them, making them central to the technology that drives our business and communications infrastructure, our social engagement, and national security. Armed groups earn hundreds of millions of dollars each year from this minerals trade and control most of the mining operations in mafia-like cartels, utilizing systematic rape and torture to destroy the social fabric of communities. Nearly six million lives have been lost from the consequences of the ongoing violence. Comprehensive action is needed for Congo, including greater justice and accountability and the dismantling of armed groups, but our consumer connection to the conflict gives us enormous leverage to effect change on the issue of conflict minerals in particular. We can demand for electronics companies we purchase from to take steps needed to source responsibly from the region and support a minerals sector that benefits communities, not armed groups. By issuing a resolution expressing a local demand for conflict-free, the city of Portland would amplify and strengthen efforts underway at the federal, state, city and university levels to encourage companies to trace, audit, and certify their supply chains as conflict-free from Congo. A conflict-free resolution could take a variety of forms, from altering procurement policies to issuing a strong statement of support. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss these and other options with you in greater detail by meeting with you in the near future. By adopting a resolution, the City of Portland will be seen as an example for cities throughout the country as a place where human rights abuses are not taken lightly. Sincerely, Alysha Atma, Executive Director

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