CREDO Action

Don't let Wall Street silence activists

Sign the petition

Tell SEC commissioners:

"Shareholder resolutions are a crucial way for shareholders to hold corporations accountable. Changing SEC Rule 14a-8 would silence shareholder activism and protect big corporations from the consequences of their actions. Withdraw changes to SEC Rule 14a-8."

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    Don't let Wall Street silence activists

    Wall Street is trying to silence the voices of progressive activists, and Trump's handpicked Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chair is helping.

    Shareholder resolutions have forced Fortune 500 corporations to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, promote transparency, improve racial diversity and confront climate change. But now, after lobbying from corporate CEOs, the SEC proposed new rules that make activists jump through increasingly difficult hoops in order to introduce and pass shareholder resolutions.1,2

    We can't let the SEC help Wall Street crush the shareholder activists who hold major corporations accountable. We need to speak out against this awful proposal now, while the SEC is still accepting public input.

    Tell the SEC: Don't help Wall Street crush activists.

    The SEC is supposed to protect people from Wall Street. It is doing the opposite. In the past, the SEC made sure shareholders – from mom-and-pop investors to the pension funds of teachers and firefighters – can propose and pass resolutions demanding changes from the company they own stock in. But under the leadership of Trump's handpicked SEC chair Jay Clayton, the SEC is helping corporations hide their actions and escape accountability from shareholders. The Sierra Club recently sued the SEC to find out how the watchdog routinely allows corporations to exclude shareholder resolutions that force them to confront climate change.3

    Shareholder resolutions are a powerful tool for holding corporations accountable. Many standard practices today – including banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, allowing shareholders to hold a vote on excessive CEO pay and banning conflicts of interests among board members – began as shareholder resolutions. And shareholders continue to push corporations to do better on racial and gender diversity, climate change, environmental and labor practices, disclosure of political spending, and far, far more.4

    The new SEC proposal would help corporations crack down on these shareholder resolutions by limiting who is eligible to submit new ones and rejecting previous resolutions unless they gain immense popularity over a short period of time. It would even give corporations a say in which resolutions to recommend to shareholders – akin to letting Donald Trump edit the New York Times opinion page.5

    Right now, the proposal is open for public comment and the narrowly divided SEC gives us a chance to block the new rules. Trump's SEC chair wants to let Wall Street CEOs write the rules governing who can hold them accountable, and we cannot let that happen.

    Tell the SEC: Don't help Wall Street crush activists.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    References:

    1. Ganesh Setty, "Shareholders would have tougher time submitting resolutions under SEC’s proposed rule," CNBC, Nov. 5, 2019.
    2. Lisa Woll, "The SEC wants to change the rules for filing shareholder motions — for no good reason," MarketWatch, Nov. 5, 2019.
    3. Hazel Bradford, "Sierra Club sues SEC over denial of climate-related shareholder resolutions," Pensions & Investments, Oct. 25, 2019.
    4. Woll, "The SEC wants to change the rules for filing shareholder motions — for no good reason."
    5. Ibid.