Thursday, September 13, 2007

Contact the SEC about their proposals to silence shareholders' voices!

The SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) is considering new rules that would drastically decrease ordinary shareholders' ability to voice their opinions on corporate policies. Make your voice heard! Click here to send comments to the SEC before October 2.

As I wrote recently:

Every year when companies have their annual meetings, there are a series of resolutions for stockholders to vote on. Many of these are introduced by the company and have to do with things like confirming board members, but there are also increasing numbers of resolutions introduced by shareholders, often having to do with issues of corporate social responsibility (CSR).

These votes are only advisory, but they express the positions of shareholders on the company's approach important social and environmental issues, and often lead corporate management to take action. Resolutions are filed every year on issues from environmental impacts to non-discrimination and diversity to animal welfare to executive compensation to political contributions to human rights and many, many more.
The SEC is considering a number of changes including:
  • Allowing companies to opt out of allowing shareholder-filed resolutions
  • Substituting online chatroom/messageboard discussions in place of votes on shareholder-filed resolutions
  • Significantly increasing the number of votes that shareholder resolutions must get in order to be refiled the following year
Click here to send your comments to the SEC (cc:'d to members of Congress) if you oppose these changes. Similar changes were proposed several years ago but were withdrawn after public outcry. Now they're back on the table. We can beat them back again, but only if enough citizens make it clear that we believe shareholders have the right to file resolutions and make their positions clear.

The SEC is taking comments until October 2nd so click through today!

No comments: