Just in from Civil Rights Leader Reverend Jarrett Maupin's desk:
For Immediate Release...
Civil Rights Leader Rev. Jarrett Maupin has organized community members to take APS and parent company Pinnacle West to task over the utility's "historically unfair" lack of diversity on its corporate board. Maupin says the companies profit from Black ratepayers, tax incentives, government programs, and public-private partnerships yet Blacks have no voice and no seat at the corporate governance table. The activist says Black customers are fed-up with, "APS leaders who are more interested in spearheading and funding "dark money" political campaigns than they are in achieving the dream of Dr. King. APS and PINNACLE WEST have sent leadership diversity to the back of their corporate priorities bus." Maupin has organizing an activist share-holders movement and is demanding that the utility giant release immediately it's diversity stats...
PHOENIX, AZ - Citing mounting frustration among struggling Black utility ratepayers following record corporate spending by APS and Pinnacle West to influence elections, Civil Rights Activist Rev. Jarrett Maupin is saying enough is enough, "They are committed to Dark Money but not Dark People. The time has come for APS and Pinnacle West to invest the same energy and resources into achieving greater corporate leadership diversity that they have in securing votes from elected utility regulators."
Maupin says urban electric utility customers are dismayed that in 2014 there is not one Black man or woman serving on the board of the utility giant, "Fifty years after the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts and APS / Pinnacle West is still behind in doing their part to build a more perfect union. Hundreds of thousands of Black customers from across the western United States want to see someone like them on the board of directors," says Maupin, "We're good enough to sell power to, but they haven't found one of us good enough to share power with."
The Reverend says Black ratepayers are outraged that despite hundreds of millions in record profits and a near industry monopoly within Pinnacle West's service territory, the company still hasn't achieved the kind of corporate leadership and employee diversity of other businesses of similar size and reach. "Instead of waging a campaign for diversity to improve their brand and overall popularity amongst consumers, this utility company has instead committed to spending ratepayers' hard earned electric bill money on negative ventures into the political dark arts," he says.
Maupin says the Black ratepayers and other private investor-allies have committed to purchasing company stock and to challenge the utility titan to diversify its corporate board immediately, "We will occupy the shareholders' meetings and engage in direct actions, not excluding mass protests, until APS and Pinnacle West look more like their consumer base." The move against the lack of diversity at Pinnacle West is a next phase in a larger national movement to increase corporate diversity that has yielded promising results, most notably in Silicon Valley and amongst major retail companies like Apple, Amazon.Com, Google, Barney's, and others. The activists says retail utility providers should join the movement to "reveal and deal" with poor levels of diversity.While share-holders and supporters mobilize, Maupin is demanding that the company release it's diversity statistics. "I will be sending a formal letter to Chairman and CEO Donald Brandt conveying our concerns. By releasing the data, all parties will be able to see the importance of Mr. Brandt and others having to answer Dr. King's eternal question... Where do we go from here? It's about fairness. Corporations perform better, earn more, and are stronger when everyone has a seat at decision making table. I am optimistic that Mr. Brandt will comply with this reasonable demand and see the wisdom and value in making APS and Pinnacle West's corporate tent a little bit bigger."
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