Proxy Preview is an annual publication that focuses on upcoming social and environmental shareholder proposals. However, it also includes some information on governance proposals as well. It was initiated to help foundations and endowments better align investment and mission but it is useful for other organizations or individual shareholders. The Proxy Preview is published by As You Sow Foundation with support from Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation, Educational Foundation of America, Foundation Partnership for Corporate Responsibility and the Singing Field Foundation.
Michael Passoff, Sr. Program Director, Corporate Social Responsibility Program, As You Sow Foundation authored the review, with substantial input from a large number of institutional shareowner advocates. Passoff broadly covers the types of proposals, major players, reviews 2009, discusses trends, identifies the hot topics by category, provides a good discussion of aligning mission with values, a fairly comprehensive list of resources and concludes with a list of votes coming up in the Spring of 2010.
The average vote for social proposals has more than doubled over the last decade. At the same time, there has been an increase in constructive dialogue. In 2009 less than half of the social proposals filed actually made it on the proxy. Most were withdrawn by proponents as a result of negotiations. For the fourth year in a row, Say on Pay is the dominant governance issue. Nearly 60 proposals were filed by the end of Marh on the topic of Political Donations, 47 came from the Center for Political Accountability. Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination and Climate Change continue as strong issues, while new topics include the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), Coal Ash, Hydraulic Fracturing, and Internet Privacy.