Sign the petition: State legislatures must ban elected officials from signing NDAs with corporations.

Corporations receive an estimated $95 billion in tax subsidies a year. Too many of these tax incentives are granted to Fortune 500 corporations by local elected officials at the expense of communities and small businesses who don’t find out about said deals until it’s too late. The impact of these deals is often a result of non-disclosure agreements, which public officials sign that prevent them from being able to discuss the terms of these agreements publicly.

These deals happen across America and often involve corporations, such as Amazon, Facebook, GM, and Google. These agreements prevent local officials from divulging details about a corporate subsidy deal and the recipient until the deal is complete, cutting the public out of the process entirely. In some cases, public officials don’t know about the recipient until the NDA is signed. Politicians claim that NDAs protect sensitive negotiations, but what they really do is ensure that these deals aren’t tanked by unwanted publicity. In 2017, a Google employee admitted that NDAs “discourage” public relations problems.

Preventing input from the community and local businesses clears the way for unfair economic development deals and prevents constituents from holding corporations and local officials accountable for disrupting their economic progress. Ban Secret Deals, an advocacy coalition focused on preventing such deals writes, “Providing taxpayer funds to individual companies is a failed economic development strategy: Communities do not see the promised job or income growth. It also disadvantages local businesses that are trying to compete with the larger, national firms that receive the bulk of state and local subsidies. It also fosters corruption, as politically connected businesses receive more funds due to their ability to lobby, not the superiority of their products or services.”

Taxpayers who fund these deals and feel the impacts in their local communities deserve transparency on how politicians spend their money or exempt corporations from paying taxes. It all starts by banning NDAs for public officials. Several legislatures across the country have already introduced legislation to prevent such deals from taking place. Constituents deserve to know that their local elected officials are working in good faith to serve them, not corporations.

Sign the petition: State legislatures must ban elected officials from signing NDAs with corporations.

Participating Organizations
Blue Wave Postcard Movement
California Clean Money Action Fund
Daily Kos
Free and Fair Democracy PAC
HAZMAT America
The People United
Progress America
Progressive Reform Network