Investors are calling on 82 companies to stop funding voter suppression


A group of state treasurers, public pension funds and foundations challenged the boards of directors of Facebook Inc., Exxon Mobil Corp. and other companies to stop donations to elected officials who supported voter suppression efforts or who voted against certification for the 2020 presidential election.

The group, which includes the California Public Employee Pension Scheme and the Rhode Island Treasury, posted a letter on Wednesday to the boards of directors of more than 80 companies, including major banks, retailers, and tech companies like Citigroup Inc., Walmart Inc. and Microsoft Corp.

According to a statement released Thursday, the coalition called on companies to change their policies to ban contributions from candidates or campaign committees who have supported efforts to restrict voting rights or otherwise promote the civil rights of people of color. The group, organized by Majority Action, a nonprofit shareholder advocacy group, and the Service Employees International Union, also urged its target individuals to disclose all political donations.

“As state treasurer, I am fully committed to ensuring that all citizens exercise their constitutional right to vote,” said Henry Beck, Maine’s treasurer. “I support these letters because an attack on our democracy poses a significant and systemic risk to investor portfolios.”

After the deadly riot in the US Capitol in January, many companies have said They would stop or pause political donations, either entirely or to politicians who oppose them Confirmation of the presidential election. JPMorgan Chase & Co. resumed political donations earlier this month, but they still said so will not donate to the legislature who voted against the confirmation of the US election.

City group said it will determine on a case-by-case basis whether lawmakers – including those who have objected to the 2020 election review – meet its criteria, which include integrity and support for democratic institutions.

“The time of half measures is over,” said Eli Kasargod-Staub, co-founder of Majority Action. “Systemic racism creates significant specific risks for long-term shareholders.”

To contact the reporter about this story:
Saijel Kishana in New York at [email protected]

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Tim Quinson at [email protected]

Rebecca Greenfield

© 2021 Bloomberg LP All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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