The line between politics and business has grown more blurry with increasing pressure from consumers, employees and other stakeholders for companies to use their significant leverage to take action against legislation considered discriminatory.
Most recently, after Georgia overhauled its election laws (that critics contend will make it more difficult for low-income voters and voters of color to cast ballots), some corporations came out with pronouncements against the law.
In response, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell warned last week that companies should “stay out of politics”.
McConnell’s directive fell on deaf ears for the 100+ chief executives and corporate leaders that met online this past Saturday to discuss taking new action to combat the more than 350 controversial state voting bills being considered across the country.
Participating CEOs were asked to sign a statement opposing what they label “discriminatory legislation” on voting, which appeared as a two-page ad in yesterday’s editions of The New York Times and The Washington Post.
The statement titled, “WE STAND FOR DEMOCRACY.” read in part, “…regardless of our political affiliations, we believe the very foundation of our electoral process rests upon the ability of each of us to cast our ballots for the candidates of our choice.”
Corporate signatories included previous Golden Halo Award winners for Business: American Express, JetBlue, Levi Strauss & Co., REI Co-op, Salesforce and Target as well as this year’s current honoree: PayPal.
Times they are a-changing and it’s critical we do our best to stay on top of social impact trends. Corporate stances toward voting rights is certain to be one of the topics to be discussed at this year’s (virtual) Engage for Good Conference on May 25-27.
Engage for Good