Democracy works when elections are secure and trustworthy, and when they are fair and free. As voting rights have come under attack in places like Georgia and Texas, we have used our platform to advocate for the right to vote, based upon nonpartisan principles and action, and support organizations that further this work through philanthropy.
Guided by our four pillars, and policy principles outlined by our Racial Equality and Justice Task Force, we were the first major company to stand in opposition to Georgia’s SB 202 voting law. Today, we are proud to announce another key element of our advocacy: $1.5 million in donations to national and local nonprofit, nonpartisan organizations that advance voting rights and voting access for all eligible voters.
In addition to this work, we have been supporting both targeted criminal justice and police reforms in an effort to build a fairer system that values corrective justice while restoring trust in our communities. We believe both are needed to address racial equality from all angles and create systemic change.
Our work is ongoing, but by sharing how we’ve taken action, we hope to ensure accountability and encourage others to take a stand and drive change.
Advocating for Systemic Change
Protecting the Right to Vote
In 2020, as part of the Racial Equality & Justice Task Force, Salesforce developed nonpartisan policy priorities around civic engagement and the protection of voting rights. As state legislatures across the country discussed the topic during their sessions, these guardrails enabled us to take swift action.
- Georgia: We opposed HB 531 and SB 202. These bills are inconsistent with our nonpartisan principles on protection of voting rights, most notably that SB 202 restricts the use of out-of-precinct provisional ballots. We also opposed SB 241, which eliminated no-fault absentee ballots and required witness signatures on absentee ballot envelopes.
- Washington: We supported HB 1078 which restores voting rights for formerly incarcerated people.
- Texas: We opposed SB 7. Texas’ SB 7 would criminalize poll worker mistakes which not only will discourage individuals – like our employees – from volunteering as nonpartisan poll workers, but also applies unnecessary punitive measures. In addition, it would put an additional burden of proof on those that need assistance with voting. We also joined dozens of other companies through Fair Elections Texas to oppose restrictions to ballot access.
- National: We proudly joined hundreds of business leaders in an ad stating our support for equal and fair access to the ballot box and to oppose legislation that would hinder that ability.
Criminal Justice Reform & Police Reform
The United States’ criminal and police system has disproportionate negative impacts on Black men and women. That is why we support targeted reforms – to build a fairer system that values corrective justice, and to build trust between the law enforcement community, who work tirelessly to keep communities safe, and the communities they aim to protect.
We are committed to advocating for reform of the systems that help this nation live up to its ideals. This includes the following activities that align with our police and criminal justice reform principles:
- Indiana: We supported HB 1006. It includes several areas of reform that align with our police reform principles such as mandatory training in de-escalation as part of the use-of-force curriculum, a decertification process, creating penalties for law enforcement officers who turn off a body worn cameras with the intent to conceal a criminal act, also prohibits the use of a chokehold under most circumstances.
- California: We are the only major private company that supported AB 60 and SB 2. These bills would create a fair and transparent accountability system for law enforcement. We also supported AB 1196, which bans carotid restraints and chokeholds; and AB 1506 which provides independent, accountable, and transparent oversight of police use of deadly force.
- Georgia: We supported two pieces of criminal justice reform legislation that passed this session. HB 479 repeals and replaces Georgia’s 150-year-old Citizen’s Arrest Statute. SB 105 reforms probation.
- Washington: Salesforce supported a large slate of police reforms that passed the legislature including the following: SB 5259 which improves data collection; HB 1054, police tactic reform; SB 5051, HB 1089, and HB 1267 that will improve accountability; and SB 5066 and HB 1310 that establishes standards for conduct.
- Texas: We supported a suite of bills aligned with our criminal justice and police reform priorities including: HB 8 which requires electronic HR records for law enforcement agencies; HB 385 removes arbitrary barriers to probation; HB 569 eliminates financial barriers to re-entry; HB 830 ends arrest for non-violent offenses; HB 1550 the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Sunset Act; HB 1938 reduces costs of body camera data storage; HB 3712 provides enhanced training for law enforcement; and SB 68 which is a duty to intervene bill.
Investing in Voting Rights and Voting Access
As part of Salesforce’s ongoing commitment to racial equality and justice, we are focused on creating a more inclusive democracy that fairly represents the voices of every American.
To further our support of nonprofit, nonpartisan efforts to advance voting rights and voting access for all eligible voters, including voters of color, we are donating $1.5 million ($250,000 each) to the following organizations:
- ACLU Foundation: To protect and expand Americans’ freedom to vote, including by making voting as convenient as possible and restoring the voting rights of those who are disenfranchised.
- ACLU Foundation of Georgia: To protect voting rights and promote equal representation across Georgia, with a particular focus on Black and young Georgians.
- ACLU of Indiana Foundation: To expand voting rights, voting access, and civic engagement across Indiana.
- ACLU Foundation of Texas: To expand voting rights, increase voter education, and make it easier for all Texans to vote, with a particular focus on reaching the Black and Latinx communities.
- The Andrew Goodman Foundation: To advance voting access, awareness and engagement among college students, with a particular focus on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other people of color-serving institutions.
- New Georgia Project: To promote the full, equal, and active participation of citizens of color across Georgia.
These donations build on Salesforce’s previously announced $6.05 million in donations to the Brennan Center for Justice, Democracy Works, NAACP, NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc., National Urban League, PolicyLink and Urban Institute.
Additionally, Tableau Foundation is donating $450,000 to the Southern Economic Advancement Project‘s SouthStrong initiative and Fair Count’s Pandemic to Prosperity Project to increase civic engagement and economic opportunity across 12 Southern states. And this week, Tableau Foundation also announced a new partnership with Measures for Justice and Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, toadvance transparency and accountability in the process of creating a more equitable criminal justice system.
These donations build on Tableau Foundation’s previously announced $6.4 million in donations to PolicyLink, Urban Institute, Equal Opportunity Schools, and several other equity and justice focused nonprofit organizations.
We will continue to use our company as a platform for change and to inspire others to advance racial equality and justice. Learn more about our Racial Equality and Justice Task Force.