You Say You Want a Resolution?

Let’s Talk Grassroots Organizing.

In the wake of FBI Director James Comey’s abrupt firing and other recent events, we see the undergirding of governance norms and enforcement beginning to shake a bit. In the investing world, when one mentions governance, images of dry, dusty corporate processes come to mind. But embedded in those books of laws and best practices are a set of norms meant to provide checks and balances on issues such as management compensation, board-member selection, and shareholder engagement.
 That’s why we’re keeping a sharp eye on the bill put forward by House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling to raise the ownership threshold to file shareholder proposals. Raising the threshold to the proposed 1% would eliminate almost all of the shareholder activity done by the sustainability community (a person would have to own $8 billion worth of Apple to file a shareholder resolution). Shareholders’ checks and balances around carbon footprint, human rights, and diversity, for example, would disappear overnight.
 If the bill passes, investors who care about sustainability will have to find other ways to highlight issues they care about to corporate management teams. Organizations such as OpenInvest, an investment platform that helps individuals invest in publicly traded companies that match their values, make it easy than ever before to make your voice heard through simplified proxy voting. Organizations fighting for the voice and rights for all are extremely relevant in today’s political and corporate climate. Now, more than ever, we have the tools to unite and raise our voices.
 Chris Collins, Associate

Omidyar Network recently announced it will invest $100M to support investigative journalism and organizations fighting misinformation and hate speech globally.

Transform Finance supports investors, communities, and entrepreneurs who seek to promote social justice by leveraging finance.

IFTTT (If This, Then That), a service that helps individuals create a rule system based on certain trigger events, recently introduced a suite of tools that helps activists coordinate responses to certain world events.