Leaders from more than 100 corporations met on Saturday (April 10) to discuss plans to protest restrictive voting laws being passed around the country. The Washington Post reported that a call was held among the corporate chiefs to float ideas about potential financial action to take in protest of the bills, like the one recently passed in Georgia.
Ending donations to politicians who support legislation to restrict voting access and postponing financial investments in states that pass the bills were some of the ideas that came from the call, according to The Post.
Leaders of major retailers, airlines, manufacturers and at least one NFL team owner joined the call to bounce the ideas, though final plans weren’t agreed upon. The meeting came after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell warned corporations to “stay out of politics” and calls from social justice advocates to corporations join the fight against such legislation and other conservative figures have called for boycotts of the corporations taking a public stand against the bills.
After Georgia passed its voting restriction bill, advocates called on businesses headquartered in Georgia, to take a public stand against the law and similar measures making their way through at least 47 state legislative bodies. Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola both publicly denounced the legislation that would make voting more difficult, especially for Black, Latino, and low income voters. Major League Baseball moved its All-Star Game out of Atlanta in protest of the elections law.
Black business executives Kenneth Chenault and Kenneth Frazier led the more than hour-long discussion between leaders from Starbucks, Target, LinkedIn, Levi Strauss, Delta, American, and more. Chenault and Frazier penned a letter to their business peers recently, urging them to join efforts to fight voting restriction.
One of the call’s organizers, Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a management professor at Yale, told The Post that the call represents a show of corporate strength and “shows they are not intimidated by the flak. They are not going to be cowed.”
“They felt very strongly that these voting restrictions are based on a flawed premise and are dangerous,” Sonnenfeld added.
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