The following is a piece I did for CU Boulder radio station KVCU.
Businesses take a stand on midterms
Ambient Sound: Yelling and sneering from a crowd…
VO: Thanks in part to cuts to federal funding of public lands, outdoor enthusiasts and the companies that serve them are becoming increasingly political. Recently, 100 businesses throughout Colorado petitioned congress to continue the Land and Water Conservation Fund which lapsed in September. VO: The fund took a cut of taxes from offshore drilling and applied it to managing and developing public spaces.
Denver 7 news clip: Denver 7’s Lance Hernandez joins us tonight. Lance, if these cuts are made, it could put some big ticket projects in colorado in jeopardy.
VO: According to a recent report by Weber Shandwick, 56 percent of millennials said CEOs and other business leaders need to engage on hotly debated current issues more today than in the past. At the Patagonia store in Boulder, I spoke with Julia, the event organizer.
Julia: There are more people who have been coming in, like walking up to us thanking us for like our lawsuit against Bears Ears.
VO: Corporate spending on political campaigns is a new normal. Since the Supreme Court ruled in 2010 that political spending was protected by the First Amendment, businesses across the board are more vocally calling for support of their favorite candidates. For the first time, Patagonia is openly endorsing two congressional candidates in Montana and Utah who want to protect public lands. Julia is localizing corporate involvement at the store.
Julia: Specifically this midterm season we’ve been working with Protect Our Winters. Um New Air Colorado dropped off some voting guides, so, we’re doing the best we can to kind of like, push people to vote as they’re like, watching films about skiing, or like watching Yvon Chouinard fall down a mountain, or coming to like a happy hour for beer or something like that. Always like, making sure we’re getting people registered to vote, especially since people haven’t been.
VO: On the other side of Pearl Street, Rob at Front Range Anglers is taking a different tack, saying they don’t want to get involved with politics, but…
Rob: We encourage everybody to vote.
Reporter: Alright. Do you guys...
Rob: That’s it [laughs]
VO: This midterm, over 300 business have joined the campaign with Patagonia, openly calling for giving employees time off to vote on election day.
Julia: Since we started doing it companies like the North Face joined in, Abercrombie and Fitch join in, Nike joined in. So it’s like the outdoor industry but also...
VO: At least for those companies who believe getting more people to the polls can have a positive impact on their agenda, customers and employees are feeling the energy.
Julia: Maybe one day we can get Election Day to be a national holiday for everybody not just special companies.
VO outro: This is Jenna Sampson with Under the Flatirons.