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The Local Take: Corporations And Voter Suppression With Jeffrey Sonnenfeld

This week on WCLK's The Local Take(Saturdays 8am) I reached out to the Yale School of Management to speak with them about their push to involve business leaders in civic engagement.  The Yale School of Management has convened over 100 leadership meetings with Chief Executive Officers under the direction of the “CEO Whisperer” Jeffrey Sonnenfeld.  Sonnenfeld is the Senior Associate Dean for Executive Programs at Yale School of Management. He was behind the recent gathering of over 100 CEOs in response to the new Georgia Voter Suppression law, SB202. The programs were held in major cities worldwide, but they’ve met via Zoom since the pandemic. 

I asked Sonnenfeld why The Yale School of Management decided to get involved in this particular challenge. He spoke about pulling together this group of business leaders when there was a crisis. He says that CEOs are mindful of disparate community needs as they pursue a commercial agenda.  He spoke about Ken Frazier, the CEO of Merck, who seemed to permit others to stand up to the last administration.

He spoke about what business leaders bring to the table that differs from political or other leaders. Current research shows that business leaders are more trusted than our political leaders. He says he thinks the business community can support voting rights with the contributions.  Not only in helping those who favor voting rights but also in not supporting those political entities that work against voting rights.  

Sonnenfeld brings up the two bills that would standardize our national elections, HR1 and HR4. Currently, every state has its own voting rules.  Some states rely on mail-in ballots.  Some states allow early voting. Some states don’t allow early voting. Some states have voting throughout the weekend. Some states don’t allow voting on Sunday.  Would it make more sense to have uniform standards? Our elected officials will hopefully consider and debate this challenge.

For more information on Jeffrey Sonnefeld

For more information on HR1 and HR4