April 23rd, 2008

Auros Face from wedding

AB 2944: the California Business Leadership and Innovation Statute

AB 2944, a bill written by Assemblyman Mark Leno (D - San Francisco) in collaboration with B Labs, would explicitly give permission to officers of corporations formed in California to consider, in their planning, other interests besides short-term financial benefit to shareholders. This would include considering harms to employees, communities and the environment, and the long-term interests of the company. This type of protection has already been extended to financial trustees, such as the managers of pension funds, partly in recognition of the fact that those funds that were considering issues other than short-term return were actually performing better anyways.

The bill is currently before the Assembly Judiciary Committee. The New Voice of Business (an aspiring competitor to the Chamber of Commerce, seeking to represent the true long-term interests of business owners) has a page about this bill, with some downloadable form-letters to send to the committee members.

If you're in Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Francisco, or Los Angeles county, you can visit GuideToGov.org to find all of your elected officials, to see if you're in one of the targeted districts. (The districts are all gerrymandered to pieces, so the below info is only approximate -- virtually every significant city in the state is carved up to have pieces in more than one district.) If you suspect you might be in somebody's district, you might try this page to get a detailed map of the relevant district. (Google the person's name with "assembly" and you'll find their district number.) Alternately, try googling "whatever county registrar" to find your registrar of voters, and then look for a link that will tell you info on your districts and representatives. Most registrars do have something like that.

The targets for these letters are:

  • Dave Jones from central Sacramento.

  • Van Tran, from an area that runs from Garden Grove to Costa Mesa.

  • Mark Leno, from San Francisco (for whom you should edit the letter to recognize that he's the author; he should be complimented/congratulated, rather than encouraged to support -- he obviously already does support his own bill).

  • Anthony Adams, Claremont.

  • Noreen Evans, Napa.

  • Mike Feuer, Beverly Hills.

  • Rick Keene, northeast CA (Lassen, Plumas, Butte, Sierra, Nevada, and Yuba counties).

  • Paul Krekorian, Glendale.

  • John Laird, Santa Cruz and Monterey.

  • Lloyd Levine, NW Los Angeles (Northridge, Van Nuys, etc).

  • Sally Lieber, South Bay (Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Cupertino, Alviso).

If you have friends in the targeted districts, please forward the New Voice link to them, and have them send just the letter for their Assemblyperson. (I frankly consider sending a letter to somebody who isn't your representative a waste of time, and of paper if you fax or print. I think NVoB is making a mistake in suggesting that folks hit every member, even if they're from out-of-district. I told the director that last Saturday, but if that's what they're gonna do, that's what they're gonna do. *shrug*)

I'd guess, knowing reputations, that Evans, Laird, and Lieber will already be standing with Leno. The other Dems (Jones, Feuer, Krekorian, Levine) should be particularly targeted. It's virtually certain the Repubs will vote against. (Bear in mind that in the entire legislature, only one Republican, Shirley Horton of San Diego, voted for AB 32, despite polls showing that a majority of registered Republicans supported it. I know plenty of nice Republicans, none of whom hold any elected office in government or in their party structure. The GOPsters in the Leg are basically crazy; we really need to encourage more moderate Republicans to vote in primaries...)
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