They actually came through. Incredible.
On Monday, I wrote an article (A Sea Change with Corporations and Republicans?) about a call that 90 CEOs had participated in this past weekend to discuss how they might collectively push back on the massive wave of restrictive voting bills being proposed and passed all over the country. It was unclear exactly what steps they were going to take, but the consensus was that they were going to make a joint statement of some kind.
Well, they took out a full, two-page spread in the New York Times and Washington Post and other publications. It’s since been picked up by a ton of media outlets, especially the business community. Here’s the spread:
I know that the type is really small. I do want to reprint their preamble, though, because I really like it:
A government of the people, by the people.
A beautifully American ideal, but a reality denied to many for much of this nation’s history.
As Americans, we know that in our democracy we should not expect to agree on everything.
However, 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.
For American democracy to work for any of us, we must ensure the right to vote for all of us.
We all should feel a responsibility to defend the right to vote and to oppose any discriminatory legislation or measures that restrict or prevent any eligible voter from having an equal and fair opportunity to cast a ballot.
Voting is the lifeblood of our democracy and we call upon all Americans to join us in taking a nonpartisan stand for this most basic and fundamental right of all Americans.
Who didn’t sign the statement?
Reporters noted some of the companies who were very conspicuously missing. Home Depot, Delta, and Coca-Cola didn’t sign. All three are based in Georgia, and refrained from saying anything about the terrible Georgia voting law prior to its passage. AFTER the bill was signed (i.e. too late) all three came out and said that they supported voting rights. They also all said that they didn’t sign the statement because they had already made statements. Hmm.
JP Morgan Chase also did not sign. CEO Jamie Dimon was reportedly asked repeatedly by a number of Black CEOs to sign, but he did not relent. He has, however, spoken publicly about his support for voting rights. So why not sign it?
Walmart also did not sign the statement. They sent an email to their employees stating that they supported voting rights, but chose not to sign the statement because they want to “stay out of partisan politics.” Funny, the preamble states pretty clearly that it is a nonpartisan statement.
What do we do next?
First off, if you are a customer of client of any of the companies that you see listed in the statement, by all means find a way to let them know you are supportive of their statement. Google them to find a customer service hotline or send an email. Remember, it is important to thank them for 2 reasons. You want to let them know that you approve of their behavior and have made you a happy customer. It will help reinforce that behavior. But it’s also important to signal that you are watching and paying attention. We’ve seen several companies go back on their word (already!) to not donate to any politicians who supported overturning the election.
Second, if you are a customer of any of the companies that we know for sure didn’t sign, well, consider not giving them your hard-earned money anymore. But if you do that, be sure to let them know! If you just stop being their customer, they’ll never know you made that choice explicitly because you are unhappy that they haven’t done more to support the basic foundation of our democracy. Money talks, so if you’re going to walk, tell them.
Thanks for taking action!
If you didn’t see it, I posted last week about what’s it been like to start an account on TikTok to talk about voting rights and activism (and have some fun.) If you’re on that platform, give me a follow!