Good Business, Good Democracy, Effective Republic: Building a Local Business Council, same speakers as Business Roundtable plenary discussion
In San Francisco, Elizabeth Doty, together with her father and other family and friends, has organized a group called Business Leaders for American Promise whose mission is to unite Bay Area business leaders in non-partisan advocacy for a 28th Amendment to end unlimited political spending and restore the integrity of our government. They have established a Statement of Principle and are recruiting business leaders to sign the statement, join the organization, and inform others about the issues.
They formed the organization in Jan., 2017 with an event at the S.F. Chamber of Commerce. They understand that the business leaders will pursue wealth and can’t change that. They engage them on a personal level and ask “How are you feeling about the current political situation? Where do you stand on money in politics? What pisses you off about this? Is it good for business?” They meet with business leaders socially and informally at events such as HBS alumni meetings. They realize that they can’t get them to come to their own planning/organizing meetings, but rather ask them to perform particular tasks such as recruiting a new member.
Their goal is to recruit 200 members – business leaders engaged as citizens! They are just starting to do outreach by contacting the political affairs people at responsible corporations and leaders of small businesses. As you get new members you can build on their contacts and build expanding circles of power.
John Wass and Matt Patsky are planning to form a group in the Boston area in the late summer or fall, and will generally replicate the San Francisco model. American Promise would like groups to form in other cities as well. New groups need to form a small nimble executive committee run by someone dogged and committed. They need to make it easy for people to say yes. American Promise stands ready to help with technical and other assistance.