Detroit, Michigan – June 3, 2019 – At the Sustainable Brands ’19 Detroit conference, Business for America (BFA) announced a new initiative working with businesses to drive positive civic engagement with their employees and within their communities. BFA is inviting businesses to join their working group for Corporate Civic Responsibility (CCR), launching in June 2019.
“Establishing a well-functioning representative democracy goes beyond left-right politics,” said Sarah Bonk, founder of Business for America. “We see a great opportunity for businesses to use their nonpartisan voice to help create a stronger voting culture, encourage civility and bipartisanship in politics, and increase civic engagement in America.”
Many are familiar with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and business efforts to have a positive impact on society. The concept of Corporate Civic Responsibility (CCR) focuses on how businesses can encourage civic engagement and a vibrant democracy within their communities. By approaching our civic culture as a vital national resource, the business community can support the civic participation of stakeholders: customers, employees, partners, and members of the communities where they operate.
“In the same way that our communities need clean water to thrive, they also need politics to function well,” said David Gilmour, BFA Director of CCR. “So when a business seeks to improve the workings of politics itself and reduce divisiveness, it is helping to preserve a vital public resource. This is less about how businesses use their political power to advance corporate interests and more about how they can empower their employees and customers to strengthen our democracy through their civic lives.”
Even though most CSR initiatives today do not involve civics, many companies are already being held to a standard for civic responsibility by their stakeholders whether they realize it or not.
“Disillusionment with government and politics is high, and the public is looking ever more closely at the conduct of business,” said Richard Eidlin, BFA Policy Director. “Businesses can have a positive impact on our nation’s civic health with simple actions such as giving employees time off to vote, supporting civic volunteerism, and supporting popular, bipartisan political reforms to increase civic participation and ensure election integrity.”