The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Abigail Disney, Patriotic Millionaires of California, and California Voices for Progress: "It Is Time for the State of California to Intervene" on CEO Pay

Abigail Disney to testify in support of SB37, a bill to tax disproportionate and excessive CEO pay in California, supported by Patriotic Millionaires of California and California Voices for Progress.

Sacramento, CA

Today, Abigail Disney, filmmaker, philanthropist, and member of the Patriotic Millionaires, will testify to the California State Senate at 9:30 AM PST in support of SB37: "Corporate Fair Share for California & Californians," authored by State Senator Nancy Skinner with Principal Co-Author Assembly Member Buffy Wicks. The hearing will be available for livestream on the California Senate website. This bill would create an incentive for corporations to rein in excessive CEO pay and would also increase the state's corporate income tax.

In response, the Patriotic Millionaires of California, in coalition with California Voices for Progress, are releasing a joint statement in support of the bill and urging lawmakers to take action.That statement can be found HERE.

Members of the Patriotic Millionaires and California Voices for Progress also issued the following individual statements:

"Speaking as a former CEO of a major company, the annual compensation of corporate management has ballooned out of control. No executive is worth over 300 times the salary of the lowest-paid worker. We need equitable solutions like this bill to address the obscene levels of income inequality our country is currently facing." - George Zimmer, founder and former CEO of Men's Wearhouse and member of the Patriotic Millionaires

"Millions of Californians work full-time and can barely afford a roof over their heads, let alone the kind of consumer spending that boosts our economy. The Chamber of Commerce wants us to believe that SB37 is a job-killing bill simply because it encourages corporations to shave a tiny amount off of one person's pay and put it in the pockets of the workers who will put it right back into California's economy. That is patently absurd logic centered on greed rather than any real consideration of how to grow our economy." - Steve Silberstein, co-founder of Innovative Interfaces, Inc. and member of the Patriotic Millionaires and Voices for Progress

"As a business owner and CEO, I have always tried to be mindful of the pay ratio between myself and any of my employees. I am appalled at the inequitable pay that others in my position have allowed. Our California businesses can not thrive if their employees aren't able to personally thrive. I applaud the legislators who have brought forward this measure and hope California will take a leadership role in addressing our national crisis of income inequality." - Lawrence Hess, President, Lehbros Limited, Inc. and member of Voices for Progress

"California has some of the highest levels of income inequality in the country. It's visible on our streets, but it's equally visible in the C-suites of our major corporations. Average workers are every bit as integral to achieving the sky-high profits these corporations are now making, and yet basic consideration of their lives and their livelihoods are too often turned over in favor of exorbitant CEO payouts. It's time for California to force their hand and make a prosperous economy for all." - Terry and Carol Winograd, Professors at Stanford University and members of the Patriotic Millionaires

The Patriotic Millionaires is a group of high-net worth Americans who share a profound concern about the destabilizing level of inequality in America. Our work centers on the two things that matter most in a capitalist democracy: power and money. Our goal is to ensure that the country's political economy is structured to meet the needs of regular Americans, rather than just millionaires. We focus on three "first" principles: a highly progressive tax system, a livable minimum wage, and equal political representation for all citizens.

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