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Campaign Updates

08/16/2017

Advocates Claim Victory As Trump Disbands Business Council, Demand CEOs Take Action To Stop Trump’s Agenda

Resignations follow months-long grassroots campaign calling on CEOs to reject Trump

08.16.2017

NEW YORK – Following news that President Trump would be disbanding several of his business councils following the resignations of a slew of corporate leaders, advocates claimed victory and demanded that companies associated with the Business Council explicitly disavow Trump’s agenda of hate and racism, including ending the financing of immigration detention and private prison companies.

For months, the Center for Popular Democracy, Make The Road New York, New York Communities for Change and a slew of immigrant and worker advocates have led a campaign calling on major CEOs on the business councils to resign and distance themselves from Trump. The campaign, Corporate Backers of Hate, targeted nine major companies affiliated with the Trump administration, detailing their affiliation with the administration and allowing people to send emails to CEOs and members of the corporate board.

Throughout the spring and summer, the campaign held repeated protests against the companies, including a civil disobedience action at JP Morgan Chase headquarters on May Day where 12 were arrested and a march of hundreds to JP Morgan’s annual shareholder meeting, where protestors confronted CEO Jamie Dimon for his company’s financing of private immigrant detention and mass incarceration.

Local and state lawmakers in New YorkMinneapolis and other cities have also expressed concern to the company and vowed to explore legislative action.

The campaign also worked with a broad network of groups, including CREDO, Color of Change, SumOfUs, and Ultraviolet, to gather petitions calling for CEOs to step down from the Business Council. After the news today broke, groups delivered more than 400,000 petitions collected from across the country that had called on JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and Blackstone CEO Steven Schwarzman to withdraw from Trump’s Business Council.

Ana Maria Archila, Co-Executive Director of the Center for Popular Democracy, released the following statement:

“The choice to quit the Business Council should have been clear long ago – and because of the tireless and courageous advocacy of those who are affected most by Trump’s agenda, they finally made that choice today. But quitting is just the first step. America's corporate leaders have a responsibility to use their platform to stand up for the bedrock values that define our country. They need to make clear that white supremacy has no place in this country – and neither do the private prisons and immigrant detention centers that they help finance. If CEOs want to truly show that they are standing up for American ideals, they will immediately cease their financing for mass incarceration and show that they are willing to stand up for all communities.”

Daniel Cortés, member of Make the Road New York and Queens resident, who was part of the group delivering the petitions, also released a statement:

“I can’t believe that, in the United States in 2017, Jamie Dimon and Steve Schwarzman could have been sitting on the Business Council of a man who defends white supremacists and Nazis and denies my community’s existence. I’m glad to hear they’re gone, but they still need to stand up against his hateful agenda that targets people of color, immigrants, Muslims, and women. If they don’t, they will remain backers of hate and they will continue to feel our outrage.”

Jonathan Westin, Executive Director of New York Communities for Change, also released a statement:

“It’s clear that Wall Street has one agenda in Washington, making billions for themselves, no matter the costs to communities. While the President refused to name racism as the problem in a white supremacist march in Charlottesville, it took days for the CEOs of Blackstone and JP Morgan Chase to show any character and hold him accountable. Now they need to step up even further and truly halt Trump’s agenda of hate.”

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Media Contact:

Asya Pikovsky, apikovsky@populardemocracy.org207-522-2442