The following is a coalition letter on Twitter, Co-ops and Democracy — specifically on our proxy proposal #4 Exit to Democratic Ownership. Take Action: vote before midnight Sunday (San Francisco time) by phone or electronic proxy OR vote on Monday at the Twitter annual meeting in San Francisco.
This is part of the #WeAreTwitter movement, well documented at BuyTwitter.org. I’m pasting the letter below and related links below that. Thanks to all who signed our letter. If the campaign continues at the annual meeting in 2018, I’m sure signatories will at least double.
We believe you can learn from co-ops and all enterprises that thrive with democratic ownership.
Our organizations work with financially healthy and sustainable cooperatives that range from grocery stores and robotics firms, to electric co-ops with billions of dollars in revenue and credit unions with trillions of dollars in member deposits in the U.S. alone. Many successful examples have been around for decades and centuries, and hold valuable lessons for networked enterprises like Twitter.
Twitter has an enormous opportunity to boost user loyalty and deliver shareholder value. CEO Jack Dorsey calls Twitter the “people’s news network,” and retail shareholders account for 60% of its ownership. But the current business model fails to empower users as true stakeholders in Twitter’s future.
We believe that Twitter would benefit from studying a transition to democratic user ownership.
That is why we support voting YES on the BuyTwitter proposal.
Moving toward a more sustainable structure could in turn reward current shareholders for their investment. Because cooperatives are bound by their governing bylaws to fulfill the interests of their members, they are strongly incentivized to provide them with the highest quality product. We see scenarios through which all stakeholders can win a better service and greater value.
When you consider the proposal to study broad-based ownership and accountability on Twitter, we urge you to take our support into consideration.
As a coalition of organizations representing and supporting cooperative enterprises, we call on our allies to sign on to this letter, below.
- David Hammer, Executive Director, the Industrial Cooperative Association Group
- William Azaroff, Executive Lead, Vancity Credit Union, and Board Chair, Modo Co-operative
- Brendan Denovan, Communications Manager, Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada
- Holly Fearing, Social Media Advisor, Filene Research Institute and Board Chair, Willy Street Co-op
- Francesca Pick, Co-founder, OuiShare Fest
- Ed Mayo, Secretary General, Co-operatives UK
- Maira Sutton, Community Engagement Manager, Shareable
- Joel Brock, Member-Owner, the Tech Support Cooperative
- Adam Schwartz, Member-Owner, CDS Consulting Co-op
- Jake Schlachter, Executive Director, We Own It
- Judy Ziewacz, President & CEO, National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA CLUSA)
- Therese Tuttle, Principal, Tuttle Law Group
- John Katovich, President, Cutting Edge Capital and Cutting Edge Counsel
- Andrew Stachiw, Worker-Owner, TESA Collective
- Jenifer Daniels, APR, Founder & Managing Director, Colorstock
- Joseph Riemann, Cooperative Principal
- Don Jamison, Executive Director, Vermont Employee Ownership Center
- Stephanie Guico, Spokesperson, Caisse solidaire
- Donnie Maclurcan, Executive Director, Post Growth Institute
- Christina Jennings, Executive Director, Shared Capital Cooperative
- Noemi Giszpenc, Executive Director, Cooperative Development Institute
- James McRitchie, Shareholder Advocate, CorpGov.net
- Betsy Avila, Executive Director, Democracy at Work
- Shawn Berry, Worker-Owner, LIFT Economy
- Alpen Sheth, Co-Founder, Economic Space Agency
- Tere Vaden, Managing Director, Robin Hood Cooperative
- Ricardo S. Nuñez, Director of Economic Democracy, Sustainable Economies Law Center
- Francyne Morin, Conseil québécois de la coopération et de lamutualité
- Jonathan Rodríguez Burgos, Cooperative Development Director, LIGA de Cooperativas de Puerto Rico
- Melissa Hoover, Executive Director, Democracy at Work Institute