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Citi executive joins Black business leaders in opposing Georgia voting law

Citi executive joins Black business leaders in opposing Georgia voting law
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Two Citibank executives on Wednesday came out against Georgia’s recently passed voting bill, with one company official saying he was “appalled” by the law.

Chief Financial Officer Mark Mason and head of global public affairs Edward Skyler released statements on LinkedIn condemning the GOP-backed voting law.

“As an American, I am appalled by the recent voter suppression laws passed in the state of Georgia. I see it as a disgrace that our country’s efforts to keep Black Americans from engaging fully in our Constitutional right to vote continue to this day,” Mason, who is Black, wrote in a post.

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“I will join the efforts of many of my fellow Americans in working to ensure other states don’t follow this horrible example. Many heroes have dedicated their lives to fighting for our rights, and we cannot let this type of disenfranchisement go unchallenged.”

“The right to vote is the foundation of American democracy. Citi not only supports this fundamental right, we have taken steps to encourage our colleagues to vote, such as providing paid time-off for the 2020 election,” Skyler wrote in a statement. “We strongly oppose efforts to undermine the ability of Americans to avail themselves of this fundamental right.”

Mason said he would be lending his voice and support to the 72 Black business leaders who signed a letter Wednesday calling on companies to fight similar voting bills advancing at the state level across the country.

“This impacts all Americans, but we also need to acknowledge the history of voting rights for African-Americans,” wrote former American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault, who led the public letter. “And as African-American executives in corporate America, what we were saying is we want corporate America to understand that, and we want them to work with us.”

On Wednesday, Ed Bastian, CEO of Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines, released a statement calling the Georgia voting law "unacceptable." That move came on the heels of public backlash to a previous statement in which Bastian made comments seemingly in support of the new law.

The Georgia law limits ballot drop-box use and enacts new voter ID requirements. It has already been hit with three lawsuits. The most recent one, filed in federal court, alleges race-based discrimination.