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One year ago today, we watched in horror as the US Capitol was attacked in an attempt to overturn the legitimate results of a democratic election — something many of us never imagined we’d see in the United States. While our democracy held that day, the insurrection demonstrated just how fragile our institutions are and exposed a willingness to use violence to achieve political ends. In the last year, the need to protect our democracy has only become more urgent as we’ve witnessed concerted efforts to undermine faith in our elections through disinformation, attacks on nonpartisan election administration, and voting restrictions passed in more than a third of states, laying the groundwork for significant election risks in 2024. As Pulitzer Prize-winning author Barton Gellman recently wrote, “Democracy will be on trial in 2024.”

See below for our full statement on the anniversary of January 6 and how business can continue holding the line for democracy. We're pleased to release this statement alongside co-signers the American Society of Association Executives, the Black Economic Alliance, the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, and Small Business for America’s Future.

Today, we are directly responding to democracy threats by encouraging business leaders to reaffirm the commitments they made one year ago. Business leaders can act now by:

  1. Speaking publicly about the risks to our democracy on the anniversary of January 6 and consider releasing your own statement. If you’d like to get more involved, speak out publicly in the press, or amplify the statement with other business leaders in your network, please contact Grace Deal. Consider sharing our Tweet and LinkedIn post, or create your own with our social toolkit for partners.

  2. Refraining from funding the 147 election objectors in Congress. Seven major companies — AmEx, Airbnb, Lyft, Microsoft, Dow, Eversource, and BASF — have already made the pledge to not fund objectors in 2022. 

  3. Supporting federal legislation. Right now Congress is considering legislation to prevent future election crises and maintain the legitimacy of our system. Join the business leaders who have supported the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. To get involved contact Eric Chen.


Business Leaders and Groups Reaffirm Commitment
to American Democracy on January 6, 2022

In November 2020, thousands of business leaders called for patience and trust in our democratic system as votes were tallied for the presidential election. The business community’s position was unequivocal: the 2020 election was legitimate, upheld Constitutional processes, and was reviewed extensively in the courts. In the weeks that followed, these leaders were also vigilant in supporting each of the milestones towards a peaceful transition of power. Two months later, when a violent insurrection attacked the United States Capitol in an effort to overturn the election, the business community again immediately and forcefully responded to defend the election results.

Today, threats to our democracy continue due to concerted efforts to undermine faith in our elections through disinformation, attacks on nonpartisan election administration, and attempts to shift election authority to partisan actors. Over the past week, we have heard from historians, scholars, and military generals about these dangers, which drive uncertainty and could lead to conflict surrounding a future election. And the business community is once again called upon to act.

On the anniversary of the January 6 insurrection, we reaffirm the business community’s commitment to stand by the legitimacy of America’s elections as foundational to our democracy and our economy. Our statements below reflect that commitment and we ask political and business leaders to join us in continuing to counter election disinformation and to ensure election processes that encourage each citizen to vote.

Free and fair elections are a hallmark of our democracy and our economic stability. Democracy is a critical foundation for capitalism, enabling the rule of law essential for long-term economic stability, and fostering free expression essential for innovation. Only by addressing these threats can we ensure America retains its credibility and competitiveness in global markets and continues to be a magnet for top talent. We invite political and civic leaders to join us in defense of American democracy.

Organizations joining us in reaffirming commitment to American democracy in 2022:
  • American Society of Association Executives (reaffirming statement from January 7th, 2021): “The peaceful and orderly transfer of power following a certified U.S. election and the rule of law must be protected, no matter the political differences of our fellow citizens… Associations have a proven and unique ability to bring together individuals in support of a common purpose. Differences of opinion, background and experiences are welcomed. It is ASAE’s hope and intention to be a unifying force in upholding faith in our institutions, our ability to engage in civil discourse for the good of society, and in America’s role as a beacon of democracy to the world.”
  • Black Economic Alliance (reaffirming statement from March 31st, 2021): “As Black business leaders, we cannot sit silently in the face of this gathering threat to our nation’s democratic values and allow the fundamental right of Americans, to cast their votes for whomever they choose, to be trampled upon yet again… The stakes for our democracy are too high to remain on the sidelines. Corporate America must support our nation’s fundamental democratic principles and marshal its collective influence to ensure fairness and equity for all.”
  • Leadership Now Project (reaffirming statement from January 5th, 2021): “Ongoing unsubstantiated claims of fraud sow distrust in the system and diminish our ability to achieve the type of bipartisan problem-solving that’s needed to tackle our nation’s toughest challenges, from COVID-19 to economic recovery. It is time to move forward and respect the will of the voters and electors.”
  • Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (reaffirming statement from January 7th, 2021): “The events that unfolded on Capitol Hill yesterday caused by a destructive and unlawful mob were horrifying to observe… America’s business owners and their employees are appreciative that Congress quickly resumed its duties to demonstrate that the violent actions directed at disrupting a critical step in what has always been a peaceful transfer of power would not deter their work or undermine our democracy.”
  • Small Business for America’s Future (reaffirming statement from January 6th, 2021): “A national survey of more than 1,000 small business owners following the presidential election in November found 73% believe Trump should participate in a peaceful transition of power... The United States of America built the most powerful economy in the world in no small part due to the stability of our government and the peaceful transfer of power we have enjoyed for generations. Allowed to go unpunished, today’s assault on democracy could undermine all that we have achieved as a nation. We must act to preserve it.”
Several other organizations also made public statements on or surrounding the January 6 insurrection that support election legitimacy:
Learn More

How Corporate America Has Changed After the Capitol Riot - The New York Times

US companies under pressure to support voting rights push - Financial Times

Opinion | Every Day Is Jan. 6 Now - The New York Times Editorial Board

The coup is still underway by Rep. Jim McGovern - The Boston Globe

As the Jan. 6 attack anniversary nears, one Capitol officer fears a violent repeat

Americans Diverge on Perils and Lessons of the Jan. 6 Capitol Attack - WSJ

Post-UMD poll: One year after the Jan. 6 insurrection, partisans differ over Trump's role - The Washington Post

January 6, 2021 Research Memo - ISRC

About the Leadership Now Project

The Leadership Now Project is a membership organization of business and thought leaders who are committed to high-impact solutions to renew American democracy. Leadership Now has four guiding principles that transcend political parties: to protect democracy while renewing it; to promote fact and evidence-based policymaking; to create an economy that works for all, and to embrace diversity as an asset. In 2021-2022, the organization is focused on; protecting democracy’s gains - particularly in response to immediate threats to voting rights and electoral systems at a state level; leading a proactive shift by companies to support democracy and shift their approach to political engagement; and continuing to support new political talent as critical partners for action.

Incubated in 2017 by a group of Harvard Business School alumni, Leadership Now activates the resources, networks, and skills of our members.  We enable strategic action and investment in democracy by providing sophisticated analysis and thought leadership, pinpointing high impact investments and organizations, and supporting political leaders who will change the game. We also use our collective public voice. Leadership Now and its members continue to be the leading business organization defending voting rights and the legitimacy of the 2020 election.

Today, Leadership Now has chapters in six cities, members in 26 states and continues to grow. Learn more at and sign up there for our Stay Awake Newsletter. You can also follow us on LinkedIn and on Twitter at @LeadershipNP.

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