From: Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, SumOfUs
To: Larry Page and Sergey Brin
CC: David Drummond

Aug 13, 2011

Dear Larry Page and Sergey Brin,

I am writing to you as the founder and president of SumOfUs.org to reopen our request that Google quit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Nearly 200,000 Google users have already signed our petition, and we are preparing to re-launch our campaign in light of the Chamber's corruption of the upcoming U.S. general election.

By now you are probably familiar with SumOfUs.org. We are a global network of consumers, workers, and investors committed to holding corporations accountable to the people whose lives they affect. SumOfUs.org members seek to leverage our economic power to fight for social justice, economic democracy, and environmental sustainability. And we are growing rapidly: we had fewer than 200,000 members when we last communicated; now we have more than 725,000.

Here at SumOfUs.org, we truly respect Google. We admire the stands you have taken on internet freedom, from your opposition to SOPA and PIPA in the U.S. to your refusal to bow to censorship in China. Many of your policies, from your equitable treatment of LGBT employees and adoption of clean energy, are models of corporate social responsibility. Our members believe that you take your mantra "don't be evil" seriously.

And yet Google's continued membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce calls all of your values into question. The Chamber represents precisely the kind of rapacious, short-sighted corporate culture that Google has defined itself against. Blinded by an obsession with maximizing short-term profits for the largest corporations, the Chamber shows no concern for the billions of people whose lives will be destabilized by climate change, the chilling effect that ever-more-restrictive intellectual property laws will have on the internet and technological progress, or for the devastating economic consequences of gutting financial regulation. We know that your users and your employees do not share the Chamber's values, and we hope you do not either. It's no secret that Google and the Chamber have been at odds on a number of issues, and that you've already considered quitting. Now we're here to give you a little push.

We're reviving our campaign now because the Chamber does some of its most destructive work during U.S. elections. It targets strategically important races and floods them with a deluge of corporate cash (this year, its spending will amount to an unprecedented $50 million), financing dishonest ads, and installing politicians friendly to its extremist agenda. In past years, the Chamber insisted that its ads were intended to educate the public, not sway elections, but this year, after a court ruled that groups running so-called issue ads had to disclose their funders, it announced it would only run ads attacking candidates. With this announcement, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has all but admitted that its job is to buy elections on behalf of corporations that don't want to dirty their hands or sully their brands.

We hope this isn't what Google stands for. But if isn't, it's time to prove it. Apple and Yahoo have already quit. As one of the most prominent brands in the world, your exit would help undermine the Chamber's claim to be the true representative American business and set a precedent for more responsible companies to walk away. Additionally, we expect the Chamber to engage in more outrageous behavior as election season heats up, and if you remain, you will find that you are increasingly associated with its actions.

Now it's time to show where you stand. It's time to quit the Chamber.

Sincerely yours,
Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman
Founder and President, SumOfUs





From: Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, SumOfUs
To: Larry Page and Sergey Brin
CC: David Drummond

Dec 2, 2011

Dear Larry Page and Sergey Brin,

I am writing to you as the founder and chief executive of SumOfUs, representing thousands of Google users from 38 countries, to ask Google to leave the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

SumOfUs is a new global movement of consumers, investors and workers using our collective economic power to hold the world's corporations accountable to all those who hold a stake in their actions and move our global economic system towards social equity, democratic principles, and long-term sustainability.

Here at SumOfUs we share your deep concern about the Stop Online Piracy Act – and climate change, LGBT rights, and a host of other human rights, freedom of information, and environmental issues. Over the years, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has resolutely put itself on the opposite side of these concerns. The Chamber's policies hurt Google users all around the world every day. We, and the thousands of Google users we represent, do not believe that the Chamber embodies our values or interests – or yours.

Google is one of the iconic corporations of the information age. Your corporate ethic of ‘Don't Be Evil' is embedded in your products, which hundreds of millions of people all around the world use every day. And you do great good through your foundation, Google.org.

Yet many of the Chamber's policies can easily be described as 'evil' with regard to the effects they have on your users. And that is increasingly true as your user base rapidly broadens – from the global tech community with its stake in SOPA and other internet freedom issues, to members of the working class across Europe, the U.S., and much of the rest of the world hurt by the Chamber's obstruction of American financial reform legislation, to teenagers growing up in countries like Bangladesh whose very geographies are being redefined by the U.S.'s inability to pass serious climate legislation. We, and the Google users we represent, hope that you will choose the right path -- and take this opportunity to stand up for us, for your own employees, and for the world, and disassociate yourself from an organization so counter to your values.

As you may have noticed, we have started a global petition to that effect, found at www.googlequitthechamber.org. Thousands of people from 38 countries have already signed the petition and cast tens of thousands of votes on the reasons they think are most important for you to leave the Chamber. We invite you to visit the site and read those reasons. Over the coming weeks we will be working to promote the petition and the site with partner organizations around the world who have the ability to reach millions of Google users. We intend to deliver these names and their comments to you, so you can see the depth of feeling on this issue from your users. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss this with you in person.

Apple and Yahoo have taken the lead in quitting the Chamber. If you join them, others will surely follow. Your voice will continue to be heard in Congress and beyond, but with far greater clarity and fidelity to the values that Google employees – and your users – hold dear. Please, for the sake of all of us, quit the Chamber.

I look forward to your response.

Sincerely yours,
Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman
Founder and President, SumOfUs

CC: David Drummond, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, Google

Note: A hard copy of this letter is being sent to your attention at Google HQ in Mountain View, CA, via FedEx.