"Assemblymember Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, selected the idea for “benefit corporations” as the winning entry in his annual “There Oughta Be a Law … Or Not” contest, which this year garnered 120 entries.
Huffman introduced Assembly Bill 361 and very quickly picked up a powerful co-author in Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield, D-Van Nuys, who is chair of the Assembly’s budget committee.
The idea for the law came from Trathen Heckman, founding director of Daily Acts in Petaluma; Jeff Kletter, CEO and co-founder of Kinesys in San Rafael; Chris Mann, CEO of Guayaki Sustainable Rainforest Products in Sebastopol and Stuart Rudick, founding partner of Mindful Investors in Mill Valley.
Under the proposed law, owners of California businesses could voluntarily distinguish themselves as “benefit corporations” by operating with “an eye toward the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit,” as Huffman put it in a letter to his Assembly colleagues.
These companies could consider the needs of a community first, without fear of legal action from shareholders for not maximizing profits."
The following is a comment by Kay Tokerud, SRNC:
Ten percent of America’s workforce is for non-profits. Now, for profit companies want preferential treatment if they qualify as ‘community benefits’ corporations? Who decides what is beneficial for the community? This is a crude attempt by some to get on top of the heap by claiming that their company does something better than all the rest. Certainly they are after something. Jobs, contracts, political positions, perhaps?
Remember the Accountable Development Coalition? They have claimed to be the community and they, of course, are the community’s spokesperson who will decide what benefits the community. This is crazy. The community is made up of individual voters who will say what they want whenever there is an election. There is no legal definition of community benefits and there is no group of people who have the right to decide what benefits the community. This is part of the process of the blurring of lines between individual rights which are the law of the land and this new concept being promulgated by unelected people who want to have some additional rights to determine what is best for all.
I can’t call it socialism or communism because it isn’t. It does have a name however, it’s COMMUNITARIANISM. This is a hybrid form of government being pushed that ‘balances’ the rights of the individual with the rights of the community. Trouble is, there are no legal rights of the community in the law. That’s made up. Communitarianism has already advanced in the European Union and is taught at American universities as a form of governance. They will impose this on us if we let them.
Don’t be fooled. We are going down a slippery slope when individual rights can be balanced away because of someone’s idea that the community (whatever that is) is more important than an individual. There ought to be a law against this type of thing happening in America. Oh, there is, it’s called the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.
Why is it that everyone who refers to the Bill of Rights and the Constitution is considered to be an extremist now? As a liberal Democrat I don't see why the founding law of our nation is considered to be right-wing. It isn't. It's American.