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Civil rights, labor groups call on Washington State to exit bail bond investments

June 25, 2019

Representatives of civil rights group Color of Change, Service Employees International Union Local 925 and the Private Equity Stakeholder Project spoke last Thursday at the Washington State Investment Board to urge the board to halt investments with private equity firm Endeavour Capital.

Media coverage:

The News-Tribune, June 20, 2019: ‘The system is tearing families apart.’ Group urges state to drop bail bonds investments

Spokesman-Review, June 20, 2019: ”State asked to pull money out of bail bond industry”

Private equity firm Endeavour Capital owns Aladdin Bail Bonds, the largest bail bond company in the country, and Seaview Insurance, a related insurer.

The Washington State Investment Board is among Endeavour Capital’s largest investors, having committed $335 million to Endeavour Capital funds, including $95 million to Endeavour Capital Fund VI, which owns Aladdin Bail Bonds.

Abbey McMahon, a public defender in King County and SEIU Local 925 member whose pension is managed by the Washington State Investment Board, told the board:

“We work tirelessly to make sure our clients are given a fair shake, that they are treated with dignity in a system that treats them like cogs in a machine, and that everyone, regardless of race or socioeconomic status, gets justice in their case. It is that tireless dedication that makes the fact that our pensions are invested in the predatory bail bonds industry so appalling and disheartening.”

In July 2018, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) reached out to Endeavour Capital to raise concern regarding its investment in Aladdin Bail Bonds and to ask Endeavour Capital to exit the bail bond industry.

Endeavour Capital affiliates have since spent nearly $1 million to roll back California’s 2018 bail reform law.   In addition to the nearly $800,000 contribution an Endeavour Capital affiliate made last September, in April 2019 Seaview Insurance, also owned by Endeavour Capital Fund VI, contributed an additional $180,000 to the referendum campaign to reverse California’s bail reform law.

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