WASHINGTON, D.C. — Following weeks of vague, non-committal statements by Georgia-based companies pressured to take a stand against the state’s new voter suppression legislation, Black executives from across corporate America are calling on companies to play a larger role in combating voter suppression. In a letter signed by 72 current and former executives from companies such as Citigroup, Time Warner, TIAA, Xerox and more, Black corporate leaders call on their colleagues and companies to do more to stand up against voter suppression legislation across the country, including utilizing the power of their public influence, their money and their army of lobbyists to combat bills that target Black voters now and in the future.
Kenneth Chenault, the former CEO of American Express, helped lead the effort and called on his business colleagues to join in. “There is no middle ground here,” he told the New York Times. “You either are for more people voting, or you want to suppress the vote.”
The effect of their statement was already clear on Wednesday morning. Soon after its release, Delta CEO Ed Bastian penned a memo to the company’s staff strongly condemning the legislation and making clear that it stood in opposition to Delta’s values.