Archive | Take Action

Standing Voting Instructions Ban Suppresses Retail Vote

Standing Voting Instructions: Reviewed

Standing Voting Instructions: Empowering the Excluded Retail Investor by Jill E Fisch just could be the most important article on corporate governance this year… if it is widely read and acted on. Download at ecgi, Penn Law or SSRN. The above photo is from Small Investors Support the Boards. But Few of Them Vote, The New York […]

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Conoco Targeted by Sisters of St Francis

Conoco Virtual Only Meetings Targeted

Conoco’s virtual only annual meeting is the target of a shareholder proposal by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. A similar proposal was filed at Comcast. The Conoco resolution has already been cofiled by the Church of the Brethren Benefit Trust and the Needmor Fund, a Walden client. As responsible shareholders, we believe good corporate governance […]

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Disney Ties to Pat Robertson

Disney Ties to Pat Robertson Need Clarified

Disney ties to Pat Robertson could lead to further gun violence if not clarified. Nancy Levine wrote a post that demands attention from Disney shareholders. Where Is Disney’s Outrage About Pat Robertson? Pat Robertson’s Outlandish Blame Game As Levine notes, Pat Robertson blamed the Los Vegas massacre on Americans’ disrespect for Donald Trump. Among the things Robertson said, (more…)

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Center for Political Accountability

Center for Political Accountability: Video Friday

Since 2003, the Center for Political Accountability (CPA) has spearheaded disclosure and accountability in corporate political spending. Corporations are the top political spenders at the state and local level. They are a dominant force in shaping public policy. Next proxy season, I will join the Center for Political Accountability in filing proposals on this important topic. […]

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5050 Climate Project: Key Climate Vote Survey 2017

Key Climate Vote Survey Provides Tool

The 50/50 Climate Project released their Key Climate Vote Survey 2017 (link) of votes by America’s largest investors. Those attending last week’s informative Fall Conference of the Council of Institutional Investors in San Diego found out about it and many other newsworthy items. Key Climate Vote Survey 2017: Groundbreaking Season? First-time approval of climate risk proposals at Exxon (XOM) […]

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CalPERS Watch Dogs Flaherman and Brown

Elect Flaherman and Brown to CalPERS

Keep CalPERS healthy; vote for Flaherman and Brown. Ballots have been mailed out to more than 1.5 million CalPERS members. They must be received by October 2nd to count. This is probably the most important election the $333B+ System has ever held, given how the board isolated and ostracized current director J. J. Jelincic for […]

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ICCR

Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility: CHOICE Act

The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, a coalition of institutional investors representing $200 billion in invested capital that engage corporations on the environmental and social impacts of their operations, sent a letter yesterday to all U.S. Senators urging them not to pass the Financial CHOICE Act. The proposed legislation, which passed the House and is currently […]

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Business Roundtable

Investor Letter to BRT (Business Roundtable)

Publisher’s Note: The following guest post from Timothy Smith reproduces a recent investor letter to the BRT (Business Roundtable) concerning the importance of shareholder resolutions. I added title, graphics, changed some of the formatting and added a note about the BRT for background. See also previous posts: Financial CHOICE Act: From too big to fail, to […]

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Co-ops Twitter & Democracy

Co-ops, Twitter, Democracy: Coalition Letter

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 […]

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Town Hall Meetings on the Financial Choice Act

Town Hall Meetings: Financial CHOICE Act

Town Hall Meetings on the Financial Choice Act are right now the most urgent defense line to protect shareholder rights. As you are aware, the Financial CHOICE Act (which threatens to gut the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Shareholder Proposal Rule) has been referred to the full House of Representatives for a vote as […]

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Mutual Funds Hold Back Political Spending Transparency

Mutual Funds Hold Back Political Spending Transparency

A Public Citizen report shows mutual funds hold back political spending transparency through their proxy voting behavior. Fully 64% of political spending disclosure shareholder proposals would have passed with majority support if major mutual funds owning more than 5% had voted in favor of them in 2016. The report, released during a telephone press conference last week, […]

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Financial CHOICE Act Does Away with Shareholder Proposals

Financial CHOICE Act: Take Action

The draft Financial CHOICE Act, among other things, would take away a shareholder’s choice to file proxy proposals, their choice to refile similar proposals in subsequent years, their choice to use an agent to help them file and their right to choose from competing candidates unless they attend the meeting in person. The draft Financial […]

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#BuyThisPlatform

BuyThisPlatform: Twitter Explores Co-op Capitalism

Twitter has been an important tool to promote democracy – think #ArabSpring, #BackLivesMatter, #OccupyWallStreet, #WomenOnBoards, etc. Now, through #BuyTwitter @ BuyThisPlatform, Twitter is being called on to explore its own form of corporate governance – how the company itself can be more democratic and inclusive. The results could have implications for the future of capitalism. Take Action: On May 22 […]

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Virtual-Only Meeting Growth

Virtual-Only Meetings: The Nuclear Option

Virtual-Only Meetings are quickly being adopted by entrenched boards who fear both adverse publicity and any attempt by shareholders, especially retail shareholders, to hold them accountable. Broadridge Financial Solutions ($BR) has a direct financial incentive to push companies toward virtual-only meetings. Although many funds and organizations oppose such meetings, no one in the opposition has a […]

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Investor Stewardship Group logo

Investor Stewardship Group: 1 Share, 1 Vote

Investor Stewardship Group Launches Stewardship Framework for 2018 The Investor Stewardship Group (link), a collective of some of the largest U.S.-based institutional investors and global asset managers, along with several of their international counterparts, announced the launch of the Framework for U.S. Stewardship and Governance, a historic, sustained initiative to establish a framework of basic standards […]

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bee

Shop Bee Keeping Grocers

Most top grocers fail on bee and pollinator protection Poll shows 80 percent of Americans support eliminating bee-killing pesticides from agriculture   A new report and scorecard grades 20 of the largest food retailers in the U.S on their policies and practices regarding pollinator protection, organic offerings and pesticide reduction. Of the top food retailers, 17 received an “F” for failing to […]

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divesting-tobacco

Tobacco Investments: CalPERS Webinar

Tobacco Investments Update Apparently, CalPERS sent invitations out on 9/27, 10/6 and 10/13 to about 400 people. Although I am on mailing lists for press and rulemaking, I wasn’t on the “stakeholders” mailing list. That has now been corrected going forward.  The webinar was brief. CalPERS Chief Operating Officer Wylie Tollette reviewed CalPERS’ prior tobacco divestment actions, […]

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Julie Goodridge of NorthStar Asset Management

2016 SRI Service Award Nominations Due

The SRI Service Award is one of the most prestigious awards given in the corporate governance industrial complex… and this one is for work in the field of Sustainable, Responsible, Impact investing. No one has to excuse themselves for working in SRI. Like motherhood and apple pie, SRI is inarguably good… although there are still a […]

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Reeds Inc 6 mos

Reeds Inc: Proposals Due Monday – Update

Update 7/12/2016: Reeds Inc received two faxed proposals from two shareholders before the deadline for submissions. It looks like shareholders will get to vote on both proxy access and creating an independent chairman. Maybe shareholders can help to turn our company around. Institutional investors only hold about 14% of Reeds Inc and insiders hold 26%, […]

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virtual meetings

Virtual Meetings: Can Shareholder Proposals Stem the Tide?

Virtual meetings are quickly being adopted by entrenched boards who fear any attempt by shareholders, especially retail shareholders, to hold them accountable. Annual meetings are the only place shareholders are likely to meet with the managers and boards of the companies they invest in, as well as with employees of those companies and with other […]

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clarcor

Walden Wins ESG Reporting at CLARCOR

CLARCOR Inc. (CLC) hosted its Annual General Meeting on March 29, 2016. A shareholder proposal led by Walden Asset Management for environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting received 61% support from shareholders, excluding abstentions. With this result, CLARCOR joins a small minority of companies to ever experience a majority vote in support of on an environmental […]

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Proxy Cards

Proxy Cards Must be Impartially Labeled

Proxy cards must be impartially labeled, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Rule 14a-4(a)(3) requires that proxies “identify clearly and impartially each separate matter intended to be acted upon.” (Guidance) Over and over again during the last twenty years I have written to the SEC asking them to enforce this rule on proxy […]

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lobbying disclosure

Lobbying Disclosure Sought by Investors

Lobbying disclosure is sought by shareholder resolutions filed at 50 companies by 66 institutional and individual investors. Corporate lobbying disclosure remains a top shareholder proposal topic for 2016. At least 66 investors have filed proposals at 50 companies asking for lobbying reports that include federal and state lobbying payments, payments to trade associations used for […]

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Index to Promote Gender Diversity

SHE Index to Promote Gender Diversity

Index to Promote Gender Diversity: From the Press Release Index to Promote Gender Diversity announced by State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), the asset management business of State Street Corporation (NYSE: STT). Check out the SPDR® SSGA Gender Diversity Index ETF (Ticker: SHE). SHE seeks to track the performance of the SSGA Gender Diversity Index, which comprises […]

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SEC Protects the 2%

SEC Protects the 2%: Qualcomm Example

The SEC protects the 2%. No, I am not writing about the top 2% of America in terms of wealth or income, although there is probably some correlation. I am writing about the 2% of shares that are still registered. While the SEC is protecting shareholders who own that 2% of shares, they are falling […]

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Overpai CEOs

The 100 Most Overpaid CEOs: Take Action

The 100 Most Overpaid CEOs: Are Fund Managers Asleep at the Wheel? is the second such report from As You Sow in two years. I hope it continues as an annual tradition. I urge everyone to read it. Rosanna Landis Weaver, Jackie Cook and others contributing to this project did a great job. As Nell Minow said of […]

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Proxy Access at Apple

Proxy Access at Apple: Last Day to Vote

Proxy Access at Apple (AAPL) will be one of the most important votes of the proxy season. Will shareholders settle for the board’s recently adopted “lite” version, akin to greenwashing, or will shareholders vote in favor of real proxy access? Boards, investors, and the corporate governance industrial complex are watching in anticipation.  Your opportunity to vote […]

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Vanguard Voted Against All Political Disclosure Resolutions (2nd from bottom on graph)

Vanguard’s Political Disclosure Vote: Wrong!

Let’s change Vanguard’s political disclosure vote. Our nation’s largest mutual fund voted against all resolutions submitted by shareholders asking for companies to disclose their political spending. Shouldn’t we have the right to know what candidates our investments are supporting? Vanguard’s Political Disclosure Vote Needs Changed Join more than 59,000 American’s who have already petitioned Vanguard to […]

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Influence Map to Disclose Climate Lobbying

Investors to Oil: Disclose Climate Lobbying

Disclose Climate Lobbying: Resolutions Filed at Oil and Gas Companies Encouraged by the forward‐looking actions addressing climate change at the Paris Climate Conference (COP21) in December, investors have filed shareholder resolutions at 11 oil and gas companies asking them to disclose climate lobbying activities. The resolutions urge the companies to fully disclose their lobbying activities and […]

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John Mackey and Marc Gafni Talk Success on YouTube

John Mackey & Whole Foods in Spotlight

In the wake of a New York Times story by Mark Oppenheimer about Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey’s relationship with former rabbi and alleged sex offender Marc Gafni, the company has come under scrutiny. (A Spiritual Leader Gains Stature, Trailed by a Troubled Past) On December 25th, The Times story reported Gafni saying of one […]

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