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Looking Ahead to the 2020 Elections

By Daryl Brewster, CEO. CECP

On September 29th, CECP sent a Pulse Survey to our companies asking if they would be providing support around casting ballots for the general election in November. We are proud to report that 75% of companies have pledged support to employees for voting, such as providing time off. Yet the role of companies does not end there.

Now is the time to review your social strategies to be sure they will meet new needs that arise, post-election

Here is a guide to what you can do to prepare for what comes after November 3rd, regardless of the outcome. Businesses and communities will not thrive if there is social unrest. The public is counting on companies to provide leadership and stability in these uncertain times.

  • Take care of your people:
    • They will be scared, upset, distracted; connect with HR to see that they are ready for the wellness and mental health needs of employees
    • Create safe venues for conversations such as town halls or coffee talks
    • Provide tips on ways they can exercise their free speech: the ACLU provides information on the First Amendment Rights and Rights of Protestors
    • Activate your ERGs; BIPOC employees will be especially impacted
  • Take care of your communities:
    • Check in with your grantees and partners to provide support and listen; think about who will be uniquely impacted
    • Encourage them to join movements that support their missions, such as Nonprofit Vote
  • Make a public statement:
    • Connect with your CMOs and CCOs to make space in the editorial calendar
    • As your company did around Covid-19 and the death of George Floyd, use your platform and communications channels to clearly state what your company stands for
    • Post a statement on your intranet, send it in an email to your employees, post it on your website, and share it on social media channels (see below for a sample statement)
    • Send your company’s statement to Civic Alliance for inclusion in their “100% In for Democracy” campaign page
  • Seek out relevant campaigns/movements:
  • Additional Resources:
    • Mini-blueprint from Just Capital for business leaders to promote democracy
  • Sample corporate/CEO statement:
    • We believe that every vote counts and that we must count every vote.
      • Free and fair markets are rooted in free and fair elections. Free and fair elections mean that:
        •   No winner is declared, by the media or by either candidate or campaign, until every vote is counted; and
        •   All public and campaign officials publicly support a peaceful transition or continuation of power, including a repudiation of violence or the threat of violence.
      • We call on all business leaders to join us in committing to support free and fair elections.

It is times like these that CECP looks to its purpose–to empower companies to drive long-term business success through positive social impact—to guide how we work with our 220 companies.