Major Corporations Flunked Our Democracy, New Greenpeace Scorecard Shows
by Valentina Stackl
July 20, 2021
"Major corporations are trying to have it both ways. Over the last year, many of these companies have made halfhearted attempts to appear socially conscious by releasing statements in support of voting rights and the Movement for Black Lives. But in reality, they are donating millions of dollars to the campaigns of extremist legislators pushing anti-voting and anti-protest bills."
Washington DC. July 20, 2021–The Dollars vs. Democracy scorecard, released today, scrutinizes the actions and inactions taken by hundreds of companies to protect our democracy. Patagonia tops the list with an ‘A’, followed Unilever with a ‘B’. Unfortunately, most other companies received failing grades, including major telecommunications companies such as AT&T (F), Comcast (F), Verizon (F), tech companies, like Google (C), Facebook (C), Amazon (C), and Microsoft (C), and fossil fuel companies, like Marathon Petroleum (F), Koch Industries (F), and ConocoPhillips (F). Full list here.
We demand these companies to stop putting resources towards harming our democracy, and instead help build a stronger country that works for all by endorsing the For the People Act (H.R. 1/ S. 1) and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R. 4). The provisions laid out in the For the People Act (H.R. 1/ S.1), such as getting big money out of politics, ensuring our freedom to vote, and guaranteeing that congressional districts are drawn to give fair representation, are popular with voters across the political spectrum. Corporate America must take a stand in support of democracy and help bring down the barriers erected to silence Black, Indigenous, young and new Americans and ensure equal voice in the decisions that impact our lives.
Greenpeace USA Democracy Campaign Director Folabi Olagbaju said:
“Major corporations are trying to have it both ways. Over the last year, many of these companies have made halfhearted attempts to appear socially conscious by releasing statements in support of voting rights and the Movement for Black Lives. But in reality, they are donating millions of dollars to the campaigns of extremist legislators pushing anti-voting and anti-protest bills.
“All of this adds up to a clear takeaway: corporations are complicit when the lawmakers they give campaign contributions to, sponsor and push legislation to squash anti-voting measures designed to disenfranchise Black, Brown, and Indigenous people.”
To determine each company’s ranking, Greenpeace reviewed the record, public statements, and responses to a letter of hundreds of companies. The Dollars vs. Democracy scorecard reflects the specific actions (and inactions) that companies have taken for our democracy at a time when it’s under attack.
- Have they taken action to endorse the For the People Act (H.R 1/ S. 1), such as signing the “Corporate America for Democracy” pledge?
- Have they expressed their support for the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R 4) by, for example, signing the Business Letter to Congress?
- Have they publicly declared their difference with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s opposition to the For The People Act (H.R. 1/ S. 1)?
- Have the companies responded to our letter or taken any other significant actions in defense of voting rights?
The scorecard is updated on a daily basis to reflect new information.
Greenpeace USA Democracy Campaign Director Folabi Olagbaju, continued:
“To those companies on the right track, we say keep it up! The bar is high because we need a healthy and representative democracy to meet the existential climate crisis of today. We encourage you to continue using your leverage to help shape a more people-powered democracy. To those companies who have released statements in support of our freedom to vote, yet are still contributing to anti-democratic lawmakers, we challenge you to put your money where your mouth is. Show us your words are not meaningless, by standing up for our freedom to vote and dissent. To the companies who failed to respond, your silence is deafening and makes you complicit. Your employees, customers, and other stakeholders are paying close attention.”
“Our democracy is at a tipping point: If we pass the For the People Act (H.R. 1/ S. 1) and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R. 4) we could, together, safeguard and strengthen our democracy. If we don’t, it will be impossible to transition away from fossil fuels and fight off attacks against protest and our freedom to vote, so that we can have a planet our communities can thrive on. Everyone should have an equal say in the decisions that shape our future. It’s time that these corporations put their money where their mouth is in support of our freedom to vote.”
Valentina Stackl, Senior Communications Specialist, Greenpeace USA: +1 (734) 276-6260, [email protected]