[Issue 068] These Companies Want You to Vote


Good morning beautiful people! 


I’m en route to New Orleans today to hang out with and learn from B Corp leaders at their annual gathering. If you have plans to be there or are based in NOLA, let's meet up!

I'm also currently working on something exciting that I'll launch in October, which subscribers will get the first word on! So keep your eyes out for a message from me next Monday.

In the meantime, I want to remind all my US readers to register to vote. If you're not sure whether you're registered, please double and triple check.

Future footage of me pulling up to my polling place in North Carolina

Future footage of me pulling up to my polling place in North Carolina

In the US, only 56% of Americans eligible to vote did in the 2016 presidential election and only 41.9% voted during the last mid-term elections in 2014, a number that has been on the decline since 2006. (Data source: Vox)

According to a Pew Research Study, many of the people who don't vote on election day site work or school schedule conflicts. And while one might think that the "land of the free" would make such an important day a holiday, it isn't. 

Companies have now jumped into the conversation with a campaign called Time to Vote. The goal? Increase voter turnout.

While 150 companies have signed on to the effort, each commitment is in no way equal or even equitable: 

  • Patagonia is closing HQ and all retail stores on election day

  • Levi's is giving corporate employees 5 hours of PTO to vote while retail employees will only get 3 

  • Walmart is sharing a website with resources (as if this doesn't exist)

  • Lyft is giving out discounts for rides to polling places and "will provide free rides to people in underserved communities, which it is identifying with help from nonprofit organizations including Voto Latino and affiliates of the Urban League" 

Aside from the hard eye roll I have for Walmart, I don't have much more criticism about this. There are some, of course, who say this is all tied to the bottom line. To that, I say:


And honestly I'm getting a bit tired of that being the default reaction to everything companies do, because it feels lazy and I'm not sure what else people expect from companies that operate within capitalism. That will always be a significant driver in any decision-making by a company in this system. 

However, I do believe we are capable of analyzing and criticizing the capitalist incentives while also measuring the net impact of a decision beyond the bottom line. And, for me, this is a no brainer: it's positive.

I don't take the right (or the privilege of having the time off) to vote lightly, and I hope you won't either.



September 15th was World Afro Day (who knew!?), and as a proud afro wearing woman in Corporate America, I was happy to see these images help raise awareness about one of the more nuanced issues we face in the workplace and in schools all around the world. 

If this is news to you, click here to learn more.


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Nikita T. Mitchell