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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Corporate power? Me?

Do you toss the shareholder proxy ballots you occasionally find in your mailbox? Hold on--that little piece of paper gives you more clout now, thanks to the ELCA corporate social responsibility office and to Internet shareholder activism.

Through Internet message boards, shareholders can find one another, marshal support and put pressure on corporations for change in a way only huge investors wielded power in the past, according to a Christian Science Monitor article.

Trudy A. Brubaker, ELCA director for corporate social responsibility, underscores the profound effect shareholders have when they use their proxy ballots and when they unite. Her office set up an ELCA Shareholders' Network, a listserv that can help you file shareholder resolutions. Check www.elca.org/dcs/corp.html to join or find information.

"We're trying to get people interested in the nebulous world of shareholder activism," said Brubaker, whose work grew when the 1999 Churchwide Assembly approved an economic life statement, which asked for that expansion. She now has resources to help demystify shareholder activism.


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