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PC(USA) joins call on corporations to support free and fair elections

Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility asks corporations for vocal support of democratic process

By Rich Copley | Presbyterian News Service

Rob Fohr is director of Faith-Based Investing and Corporate Engagement for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and secretary of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility Board of Directors. Rich Copley

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), whose membership includes the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), has sent a letter to more than 200 companies urging them to use their collective voices to support free and fair elections.

“The unstable climate surrounding the 2020 election directly threatens every aspect of our society, not least of which are the millions of businesses still struggling to recover from the devastating impacts of COVID-19,” the Oct. 22 letter said. “For this reason, collective action to ensure free and fair elections — perhaps our most fundamental and inalienable right — should be a priority for our government, for all business leaders, and indeed, for every citizen.”

▶ Click here to read the entire letter

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is a founding member of the ICCR.

Rob Fohr, director of Faith-Based Investing and Corporate Engagement, lead staff person to the Committee on Mission Responsibility Through Investment of the PC(USA), and secretary of the ICCR Board of Directors, said the statement is in line with the stands that the center has always made.

“For nearly 50 years, the ICCR coalition of investors has been a strong voice in its advocacy for the most important issues of our time with influential corporations,” Fohr said. “We wanted to use our voice to encourage the CEOs of some of the largest publicly traded companies to take action, ensuring stability following the Nov. 3rd election.

“It is imperative in the coming weeks that faith-based and values-based investors, like the PC(USA), encourage companies to use their influence to support key processes and procedures core to our democracy.”

▶ Click here to learn about the Presbyterian Voting Campaign

The letter cited unfounded concerns about election fraud expressed by elected officials and President Donald Trump’s failure to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the election as reasons for the statement.

“As faith- and values-based investors, we believe the business community has a moral and business imperative to use its public platforms to promote confidence in our elections and our democracy,” the letter said.

It went on to make six specific requests, including asking for support for free and fair elections, “a call for a thorough and complete counting of all ballots,” “condemnation of any tactics that could be construed as voter intimidation,” and “assurance that, should the incumbent administration lose the election, there will be a peaceful transfer of power.”

“While the temptation for corporations to remain passive during these challenging times may be great,” the letter said, “we believe that this is in fact a defining moment to exhibit leadership.”

On Tuesday, a coalition of business leaders, including the Business Roundtable and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, released a statement saying, in part: “We urge all Americans to support the process set out in our federal and state laws and to remain confident in our country’s long tradition of peaceful and fair elections.

“Regardless of the election outcome, we look forward to working with the administration and the new Congress to ensure a strong and safe economic recovery while working to build long-term prosperity for all Americans.”

The Presbyterian Committee on Mission Responsibility Through Investment and Office of Faith-Based Investing and Corporate Engagement is one of the Compassion, Peace & Justice ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency.

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