Chairman Christopher Cox
Securities and Exchange Commission
100 F Street, NE
Washington, DC 20549-1090
September 28, 2007
Dear Chairman Cox:
I'm writing to request that you protect the right of investors to file shareholder resolutions and urge you to take no action on the proposed initiatives that would curtail or eliminate this essential right.
I find it ironic that at a time of major corporate investigations and serious shareholder bewilderment as to why the SEC hasn't been a stronger advocate for the shareholders of this nation (many of us are not wealthy, but have invested much of what we have saved), that the SEC is even considering this move that would further limit the impact that individual investors can have on the corporations in which they own stock.
For us non-institutional investors this right to petition at the yearly shareholders' meetings is the only 'media attractive' method we have to point out some of the misbehaviors or lack of action that we see happening in the companies we 'own'. It seems that for decades shareholders have tried to put a lid on executive compensation through these resolutions - it's done little good at accomplishing that, but it has made public aware of the immorally extravagant amounts of compensation that the executives, and board members, receive.
Shareholder resolutions are an invaluable tool for investors who want to make their voices heard with regard to the direction of their companies. Shareholder resolutions have helped to promote transparency and improve corporate governance and performance. They have called attention to critical issues, including global warming, nuclear power, sweatshops, executive compensation, natural resource extraction, and other major societal and environmental problems that, when not addressed, often end up costing shareholders and their companies as a result of lawsuits, damaged reputations, consumer boycotts, public protests, and low staff morale.
The many corporate scandals of recent years highlight how important it is to have more, not less, corporate transparency and accountability. Shareholder resolutions have proven effective in holding companies accountable to their owners. I ask that the commission safeguard, not undermine, their use.
Thank you for your attention to my comments.