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ASBC Decries Refusal to Debate “For the People” Act (S1)     

The U.S. House of Representatives passed H-1, For the People, in March, but as of late June, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and all the other Republican Senators have refused to even allow the bill to be discussed on the Senate floor. ASBC joins all Americans concerned about this escalating threat to our democratic republic in decrying this blatantly evasive maneuver. While the decision by every Republican Senator to block even beginning debate is very disappointing, the For the People Act (S1) remains an open question—one we must answer with a resounding “yea!” This is the beginning of a long journey ahead to transform our democracy into one that represents, reflects, and serves all of us.   
There will be much debate in the coming weeks and months as we fight to protect our freedom to vote and ensure that all American citizens have a say in the vital decisions that impact us. Our lives, our health, and the resilient prosperity of our businesses all rely on it. To preserve and protect the rich diversity of Americans who have built, protected, and served our country, we must defend the freedom to vote in a transparent process we can trust. Only then can we elect leaders who deliver for us on the issues—good jobs, functional infrastructure, affordable care, livable environment, real opportunity—that impact us most.  
Failure is not an option. Congress must pass the For the People Act to create national standards ensuring that we can safely and freely cast our ballots, have our voices heard, and elect leaders who deliver on our priorities. President Lincoln called for government that meets all three criteria— “of, by, and for the People.”  Now it’s up to each of us. 

Click to tweet: Business leaders respect the rich diversity of Americans who’ve built, protected and served our country – and resist attacks on our free and fair elections. Tell your Senators to demand debate on the For the People Act (S1)! 

Click to tweet: For the People (S1) would create national standards ensuring all American citizens can safely and freely cast our ballots. Think this is at least worth discussing?  Tell your Senators to demand debate on For the People (S1) now! 


What's New

ASBC Members Meet Virtually with White House and Congress   

ASBC staff and business members from around the U.S. came together for virtual fly-in meetings with the White House and 14 Congressional legislators and staff members, June 15-17. In D.C., we made the business case for policies that would facilitate a just, sustainable, stakeholder economy.   

“ASBC’s fly-in meetings are open to all ASBC members who want to effectively advocate for their industries at the national level,” said EVP Thomas Oppel. “They’re an opportunity to join fellow business leaders in speaking with one voice to lawmakers, administration officials, and regulators. Participating in fly-ins offers a valuable perspective on how federal policies are developed in Washington, D.C. with input from ASBC-member businesses. It also gives ASBC members a chance to help shape that process." 

Responsible elected officials value broad, representative input, and ASBC delivers: As a multi-issue business organization advocating on behalf of companies large and small in all business sectors and geographic regions, ASBC and our association members collectively represent over 250,000 businesses across our networks.   

“ASBC and our members focus on priorities that ladder up to the shared goal of changing the rules by which business is done so it is better for all people, the environment, and the economy,” says ASBC Co-founder/President David Levine. 

“it’s exciting that hundreds of our members made the effort to attend our fly-ins this June. We encourage other interested businesses to join in our advocacy and become leaders in advancing just and sustainable polices.”  


Rev. Dr. Barber to Headline ASBC-SVC's Live Conference, Dec. 8-11     

On Dec. 11, ASBC-SVC's in-person conference, “Restore, Regenerate, Re-Imagine!” will feature the widely honored Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II on our main stage in “A Conversation on Restoration.” We are thrilled to welcome Rev. Dr. Barber again: ASBC Board Chair MaryAnne Howland interviewed him at SVC’s 30th Anniversary Conference & Gala.

Rev. Dr. Barber is one of our country’s most esteemed advocates for a fair and equitable economy. He is president and senior lecturer of Repairers of the Breach, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, bishop with the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries; visiting professor at Union Theological Seminary; pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Goldsboro, NC, and the author of four books. 

Rev. Dr. Barber is also the architect of the Moral Movement, which began with weekly Moral Monday protests at the NC General Assembly in 2013 and recently relaunched again online in August 2020 under the banner of the Poor People’s Campaign.

ASBC-SVC Conference speakers this December will also include Gale Jennings-O'Bryne, co-founder/general partner of WOCstar Fund; ASBC co-founder/CEO Jeffrey Hollender, co-founder/ former CEO, Seventh Generation; Judy Wicks, activist, entrepreneur and author, Good Morning, Beautiful Business; Dr. Diane J. Johnson, founder/CEO of Mmapeu Consulting; Jocelyn Levy, founder, Wee Yogis; Taina Asili, activist/musician/filmmaker artist-in-residence; Allen Bromberger, founding partner, Bromberger Law; ASBC Board Chair MaryAnne Howland, founder/CEO of Ibis Communications and Global Diversity Leadership Exchange and author of Warrior Rising; and Lauren Grattan, co-founder/chief community officer, Mission-Driven Finance. 

The agenda and full speaker slate of ASBC-SVC 2021 is still forthcoming with nearly 100 business leaders, impact investors, policy-makers, and capacity-builders expected to speak. Look for the latest updates at svcimpact.org/conference.

Along with our inspiring main-stage event, ASBC-SVC's in-person conference at Paradise Point in San Diego, CA, Dec. 8-11 will offer action-oriented, small-group breakout sessions for business leaders, impact investors and policy makers; and valuable opportunities to connect and build relationships with like-minded colleagues from across the U.S. The conference will facilitate and focus on conversations to further actions our community of members and stakeholders can take to create an economy that works for all: one that is regenerative, equitable, and creates shared prosperity through our businesses, investments, and activities. 


Back by popular demand, a live pitch event will be held most of the day on December 8. The main stage event will be held in the morning on December 11. Additional networking opportunities, music, and more will be featured throughout the conference. 

REGISTER NOW for the conference and receive 10% off with code WEAREBACK here (scroll to the bottom to pay in installments). Not yet a member of ASBC-SVC? You can join here (annual or monthly) to access this initial registration period discount. Please note: Our discounted room block is already over 90% sold.

Together, ASBC and SVC have a uniquely potent ability to build the large-scale movement of profound economic and public policy change the world so desperately needs. Help ensure a just and sustainable future: Convene with us this December! 

Click to tweet: I’m so ready to RESTORE, REGENERATE, RE-IMAGINE! Join @ASBCouncil and Social Venture Circle, Dec. 8-11 for an energizing IN-PERSON conference with opportunities and inspirations galore. REGISTER NOW for the conference and receive 10% off with code WEAREBACK 

Thought for Food: Urge Congress to Invest in Regenerative & Just Agriculture 

In 2021, Infrastructure has finally begun receiving concurrent attention from both White House and Congress, but even the broader-scope plans include minimal or no funding for soil health, resilient food system infrastructure, and support for small-scale, young, beginning, and BIPOC farmers.  

“Like a habitable environment and clean water, better food production depends on thoughtful, world-class infrastructure and should concern all of us,” says ASBC Senior Policy Manager Colton Fagundes. “ASBC and our Regenerative Agriculture & Justice Working Group are providing this convenient form to easily make your business voice heard. Please send it now to urge your legislators to include robust investments for better, fairer agriculture and food systems in federal infrastructure plans.”  

How small and mid-sized firms can conduct their own gender and racial pay equity reviews

ASBC Board Vice-Chair Pat Heffernan, CMC, president of Marketing Partners, Inc., recently attended the Leaders for Equity and Equal Pay (LEEP) launch of its Equal Pay Toolkit, developed by experts and advocates for Change the Story. Pat, a longtime, dynamic leader in ASBC’s advocacy on issues relating to women and families, urges ASBC members with fewer than 400 employees to utilize the convenient Equal Pay Toolkit, which offers information and methodology to conduct ongoing gender and racial pay equity reviews in-house.  

The Toolkit includes:  

  • The Excel-based Equity Management Tool (EMT): enter the company’s pay data and produce comparative ratio charts that will illuminate pay inequities. 
  • The EMT User Guide: Step-by-step Instructions for Building Great Charts 
  • A companion full-color, 60-page Pay Equity Playbook that provides a wealth of information for anyone interested in learning more about compensation philosophy and building organizational equity. 
  • Worksheets, Rubrics and Templates to help a company embark on a comprehensive equity review. 

Download the Equal Pay Toolkit 

Related publicly available resources include the LEEP Toolkit FAQ, the recording of the full LEEP Toolkit Launch and the Sadowski Consulting slides that show a sample of the charts you can create.  

Pat also shares that Aly Johnson-Kurts, changethestoryvt.org, reminded attendees of a call to action by Launch speaker VT Lt. Gov. Evelyn Murphy:  

“Use these resources to show the nation that gender and racial wage gaps can be eliminated in the next 10 years—not the 50 to 100 years that the experts now predict it will take. Prove these experts wrong, and go for it, with these tools.” 


Working Group Updates

ASBC policy priorities and topics addressed during the June 15-17 fly-in meetings with the White House and Congressional offices were developed with strong, strategic input from our working groups. For example: 

Regenerative Agriculture and Farm Justice: This group focused on policies to support more regenerative, just, and resilient agriculture in continuing negotiations on the infrastructure package (American Jobs Plan). They called on elected officials to include marker bills in the infrastructure package – such as the Climate Stewardship Act, the Agriculture Resilience Act, and the Relief for America's Small Farmers Act – that would make much-needed investments to move the U.S. toward a drastically improved food and agriculture system.  

Climate and Energy: This group focused on policies to combat the destructive impacts of climate change. Business leaders met with Congressional leaders to demonstrate their support for Clean Energy Victory Bonds, carbon pricing, and the creation of a Climate Conservation Corps.   

Circular Economy/Infrastructure Paid Leave: This group advocated for policies to eliminate harmful waste and pollution as well as repair the country's infrastructure – as part of, and in addition to, the American Job's Plan. They called on congressmembers to support the Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act, the National Infrastructure Bank, and elements of the Clean Futures Act. 

In another consequential, change-making development, ASBC has launched the new Corporate Transparency Disclosure Working Group that will advocate for policies, interventions and other solutions to incentivize True-Cost Accounting/Impact-Weighted Accounts. It addresses America’s growing concern about business activities which are unaccounted for, or currently escape disclosure as negative externalities, in corporations’ P&L income statements and balance sheets.  To solve this economy-wide mischaracterization of real-world effects, it will persuasively advocate for policy solutions and other interventions that incentivize True-Cost Accounting/Impact-Weighted Accounts. Of course, any policy incentives and/ or requirements we may recommend will include consideration of current generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP standards), regulatory intervention, accounting standards, valuation methodologies, ESG investment criteria, and related reporting methods as well as the goal of tax regime reform and an overall increase in transparency and equity in corporate and business governance. 

Always Open: Problem-Solving Resources  

You can count on ASBC sending you timely action tips on legislative issues affecting your business, and we also offer busy leaders a wealth of in-depth guidance you can access any time on our website. Want the details on how famous companies of all sizes provide a high-road workplace – and how it boosts their business? Need to make a big media impression (or lots of them) with your firm’s sustainability news? Want to persuade your market why safer, greener products matter? Need to make your responsible business case for better laws to your elected officials at local, state and national levels? ASBC’s online library of resources can help with these and more. Check out the Research & Data and Policy & Action sections on the ASBC website and contact us with your questions or suggestions.  

Media, Blogs & More

  • In a June 11 news release, Hollen, Beyer Reintroduce Millionaires Surtax to Invest in Working Families, Senator Van Hollen credits ASBC among 70 broadly varied, influential organizations  supporting legislation to help close the gap between the wealthy and everyday Americans and raise significant revenue to make new investments that will grow the economy and protect working families. The Millionaires Surtax would apply an additional 10% tax to incomes above $2 million for married couples/above $1 million for individuals and would apply equally to wages/salaries and investment income such as capital gains. According to polling by Hart Research Associates, the proposal has overwhelming support – 73 percent of Americans support a Millionaires Surtax, with 76 percent support from independents and moderates. Even a majority of Trump voters (57 percent) and Republicans (53 percent) favor the policy. 

  • A June 21 op-ed, in the Baltimore Sun, American Jobs Plan: life or death for many small businesses,” co-authored by Thomas Oppel, executive vice president of ASBC and Stephen Michael, co-executive director of Main Street Alliance, eloquently urges Congress to move on the American Jobs Plan to boost small business. 

  • In a June 25 media release, regarding the Partial Infrastructure Agreement, ASBC stated, “The bipartisan deal to arrive at a infrastructure agreement is very much only a partial deal for Americans who have been most neglected by America’s policies. While it signals that our government is willing work together towards economic competitiveness on physical infrastructure, it neglects the key tenets of the Administration’s original proposal that prioritize people, such as paid leave, universal pre-K, and credits for poorer families. We remain hopeful that these and other priorities are included in a forthcoming compromise that prioritizes a just and supportive economy for those who need it the most.” 

  • A June 16 blog post by CCAN Action Fund Director Mike Tidwell, “100 Small Business Leaders Converge on Capitol Hill, Urge Congress to Pass the American Jobs Plan and 100% Clean Energy Standard” quotes several of the event’s speakers including ASBC’s VP of Membership Ali-Reza “A.R.” Vahabzadeh. “We have a rapidly narrowing window of time to pass the sweeping climate legislation that is urgently needed for a just and sustainable future,” Vahabzadeh said. “ASBC and the over 250,000 businesses and investors we represent support the American Jobs Plan and its initiatives such as creating a new Civilian Climate Corps. Addressing our climate crisis can put us on the path to rebuilding a thriving and equitable economy.” This is the second event in the “100 Leaders for 100% Clean Energy” summer series co-hosted by Ceres, ASBC, Main Street Action, the Hip Hop Caucus, Evergreen Action, and CCAN Action Fund.

  • A June 25 article in Vogue magazine online, Reclaiming Native Knowledges Through Kelp Farming in Cordova, Alaska chronicles the work of ASBC member Native Conservancy to restore the area’s marine ecosystem in ways that also revitalize dAXunhyuu knowledges (plural intended) and create new food sovereignty opportunities for Native peoples. (See more ASBC Member & Staff News, above.) 


Welcome New Members

Please note: For details about membership levels, benefits and more, visit https://www.asbcouncil.org/membership

Climatetrade (Business - Core) 
Climatetrade helps companies fulfill their most ambitious carbon-offsetting commitments via disruptive technologies and systems to address climate change, achieve the SDGs, and build an exponential, sustainable ecosystem. The Climatetrade marketplace lets project developers and clients who want to offset their carbon footprints connect from the platform's web interface, or from a REST API that helps firms incorporate compensation as part of their internal flow, automating the process and offering both B2B and B2C solutions. With blockchain technology, Climatetrade offers clients transparency and traceability in each transaction. 

Dole Packaged Foods (Business - Leadership)
Dole Packaged Foods, LLC, is a world leader in growing, sourcing, distributing, and marketing fruit and healthy snacks. Dole sells a full line of packaged, shelf-stable fruit, frozen fruit, dried fruit, and juices. The company focuses on four pillars of sustainability in all its operations: water management, carbon footprint, soil conservation and waste reduction. 

Iroquois Valley Farmland REIT (Business - Community)
Iroquois Valley Farmland REIT (est. 2007), is one of the first private firms in North America to offer accredited and non-accredited investors direct exposure to a diversified portfolio of certified organic farmlands. An organic farmland finance company, it provides farmer-friendly leases, mortgages and credit lines to the next generation of organic farmers. Organized as a B Corp (public benefit corporation), it has earned a “Best for the World B Corp” designation and has been named an Emeritus Manager in ImpactAssets’ “IA 50.” With more than 600 impact investors’ support, Iroquois Valley Farmland REIT has built a portfolio of nearly 100 farmland investments impacting over 17,000 acres of farmland across 15 states and representing $70 million in assets. It aims to make organic agriculture the norm, not the exception, to benefit the health of the soil and of future generations.    

United States Africa Business Collaborative (US-ADBC) (Business - Community) 
US-ADBC provides information to help build the capacity and developmental infrastructure of the growing US-African diaspora business community. This community’s production, marketing, distribution infrastructure and purchasing/investment power can directly contribute to the economic development of small enterprises in Africa, with favorable impact on US-Africa trade relations. The US-African diaspora business community could open opportunity for sustainability-driven US businesses with the potential and interest to enter the emerging African market. US-African diaspora is well positioned and highly motivated to provide leadership and grow the US-Africa investment and transfer of knowledge and appropriate US technology to Africa. This partnership will mitigate risks and encourage US businesses to enter the emerging Africa market; the world’s next big market poised for unprecedented growth.  

Equipe de Conservacao da Amazonia (Ecam) (Association)  
Ecam works for the integration of socioeconomic development and environmental balance. Since 2002, it has promoted innovative actions, motivated by society's interest and in line with environmental conservation. Based on respect for local culture and utilizing the potential of speech, Ecam training gives people the instruments they need to learn about their region and how to advance its environmental protection. With this approach, Ecam helps contribute to the development of society in a way that is fair and oriented towards green economy trends. Currently, Ecam has projects with different sectors of the economy, national and international, which are part of its two main initiatives: Ecam Social Projects and Ecam Social Business. 

Member & Staff News

  • MCS Industries 

    MCS has commissioned a solar power generating system in its new DC in Easton, PA. The 894 kW solar system is expected to generate approximately 1.1 MWhs of electricity annually, avoiding the emission of 828 metric tons of CO2, equivalent to removing 167 cars from Pennsylvania's roads per year. The firm has made other major investments in renewable energy resources and has won multiple awards. In addition to its solar initiative, MCS Industries is committed to recycling EPS Styrofoam in its manufacturing operations and converting from incandescent to LED lighting. It also provides financial support and resources to more than 40 charities serving the local community and those with a larger global footprint.

  • Greyston 

    Greyston Foundation President and CEO, Joseph D. Kenner, has been appointed by NY Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Hochul as a voting member of the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council (EDC). Kenner was named president and CEO of Greyston Foundation in April 2020. He joined the Greyston executive team in 2018 as the vice president of programs and partnerships, responsible for directing Greyston Workforce Development and Community Wellness strategies and activities.  During his term with Mid-Hudson Regional ECD, Kenner will help promote community-driven economic development. Joe Kenner Mid-Hudson REDC appointment.

  • Native Conservancy 

    An article in Vogue magazine online, Reclaiming Native Knowledges Through Kelp Farming in Cordova, Alaska chronicles the work of dAXunhyuu activist Dune Lankard and his Native Conservancy team to plant kelp lines that can restore the area’s marine ecosystem in ways that also revitalize dAXunhyuu knowledges and create new food sovereignty opportunities for Native peoples. The Native-run, Native-led group prioritizes kelp farming, a growing global initiative for regenerative farming. Kelp forests are a source of nutritious food for humans and animals, offer safe habitats for sea creatures, and significantly, can be rendered as an alternative to plastics and can sequester CO2 more effectively than land forests, according to some studies.  

  • National Stewardship Action Council 

    The National Stewardship Action Council (NSAC) shares that the Keep America Beautiful May Summary Report of the most extensive research in U.S. history to estimate the scope, scale, causes, and impact of litter found there was substantially more deposit-material litter in states without bottle bills (deposit return systems for beverage containers) than in states with bottle bills – by a two-to-one ratio. The comprehensive study also found more than 75% of respondents supported implementing a bottle bill in their states. (Among its other benefits, a national bottle bill could create more than 90,000 U.S. jobs.) NSAC asks fellow ASBC members to support this common-sense legislation: To be notified of the early-July webinar on passing a national bottle bill this year, email jordan@nsaction.us now! 

  • ASBC Welcomes Communications Associate Marygrace Depp

    ASBC is pleased to introduce Marygrace Depp who recently joined as communications associate. Marygrace is studying for her masters in publishing and writing at Emerson College. She has been specializing in Middle English and social media production and press. Marygrace fulfilled her undergraduate's green initiative while at Washington & Jefferson College by advocating for a more sustainable campus. 

ASBC Members, Let Us Help You Share Your News! 

Your ASBC membership is a valuable networking opportunity to share your news with other mission-driven companies and supporters nationwide. Please send us your product and service introductions, personnel and facility changes, awards, charitable events and other news in your press releases, blogs, captioned photos and videos. We’ll include them in ASBC’s monthly Policy Update newsletter and social media outlets. 

AND....Show your customers, prospects and vendors your values right upfront:  display the “Proud Member of ASBC” logo on your website and marketing materials.  

ASBC appreciates your support for our work and we’re proud to support you all the way! 

Upcoming Events

Environmental Sustainability to Shape a Better Business  
Informa Markets/Supply Side 
Content partner: Food & Beverage Insider
Webinar | July 22, 1 - 3 PM ET    
Food and beverage brands that ensure healthy ingredient sourcing and product formulation win loyal customers and help secure a habitable world for future generations. Careful selection of suppliers, proper monitoring of the supply chain, and advocating for sustainable government policies help brands live up to their values. Explore how to ensure “sustainability” is viewed holistically throughout company operations, how to benefit from technology that reduces a firm’s carbon footprint, how brands have overcome hurdles to succeed as sustainable companies, and more. ASBC will speak on U.S. policies brands should be aware of and policies brands should advocate for to ensure sustainable business procedures have government support. Contact sandy.almendarez@informa.com 

Radical Inclusion in Your Workforce: Roadmap to Open Hire   
Webinar | July 15, 2 - 3 PM ET 
You’re a champion of diversity and inclusion but want to do more? Seeking new sources for good talent while creating a more resilient workforce and community? Don’t miss this free webinar! Hear firsthand from leaders who are putting thousands of post-incarcerated, homeless and housing-insecure individuals to work. Come for inspiration and leave with strategies you can replicate in your own organization.  

Paradise Point, San Diego, CA | December 8-11, 2021 
Join ASBC-SVC members, legislators, influencers and other inspiring leaders at the in-person conference this December 8-11 in San Diego, CA at Paradise Point. REGISTER NOW for the conference and receive 10% off with code WEAREBACK here (scroll to end for installment payment option). Not yet an ASBC-SVC member? Join here (annual or monthly) to access this initial registration period and discount. (See the event story in this Policy Update.) 
Please note: Our discounted room block is already >90% sold. 


American Sustainable Business Council
712 H Street, NE, PMB 42, | Washington, District of Columbia 20002
202-660-1455 | replies@asbcouncil.org

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