September 25, 2007
Dear Chairman Cox:
I support the nonbinding shareholder proposal. I want the Commission to maintain and strengthen corporate accountability and investor protection. Shareholder proposals help to promote transparency, improve corporate governance and performance, and raise important issues ranging from greenhouse gas emissions to sweatshops to sustainability reporting. In this way, investors have also brought visibility to important business risks that affect the value of my investments.
I specifically oppose granting companies the ability to "opt out" of the shareholder resolution process, substituting electronic petitions or chat rooms for resolutions, or increasing the percentage vote required for resubmission in subsequent years.
Small investors must be able to participate. Many of the most critical corporate reforms of recent years have been promoted by these small individual and institutional investors. The current proxy rules allow dialogue on critical issues, including excessive executive compensation. I want to keep the current rules in place.
The corporate scandals of recent years demonstrate that we need more communication, more transparency, and more accountability - not less. Nonbinding shareholder resolutions help us hold companies accountable to their owners.
Please let me know what action you intend to take on this issue.