published Friday, April 30th, 2010

Jesse Jackson to attend AT&T gathering here

Telecommunications giant AT&T is set to hold its annual shareholders meeting today at 9 a.m. in The Chattanoogan hotel on Broad Street, and former presidential candidate the Rev. Jesse Jackson says he plans to exercise his rights as a shareholder and attend the meeting.

Mr. Jackson stated Thursday that he will attend the shareholders' meeting in an effort to push for the expansion of broadband in rural areas, and to seek more entrepreneurial and partnership opportunities for minorities.

"Blacks and Latinos overwhelm the public sector workers, but we've been locked out of the private sector," Mr. Jackson said. "We go to those meetings and participate in the resolutions to expand our relationship with the corporations."

Through Mr. Jackson's Rainbow PUSH coalition, he has purchased stock in several large corporations, including AT&T, in an effort to gain access to employment figures and convince companies to expand their business relationship with minority-owned firms, he said.

"We're shareholders, not sharecroppers," he said. "Inclusion leads to growth, and with growth, everybody wins."

Shareholders will consider a number of proposals, four of which are opposed by the board of directors. Shareholders have proposed to adopt cumulative voting, the exclusion of pension income from performance-based pay, a stockholder vote on executive compensation and lowering the share holdings necessary to attend special shareowner meetings.

Twelve board members are up for re-election, and the company has encouraged shareholders to ratify Ernst & Young as its independent auditor.

J.Ed. Marston, vice president of marketing and communications for the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, said AT&T's decision to hold the meeting in Chattanooga demonstrates that investments in the city's meeting and convention facilities have paid off.

Who can go?

* To go to the AT&T annual shareholder's meeting, you must hold any amount AT&T common stock as of the close of business on March 2, 2010.

* If you bought stock at or before March 2, you are also eligible to vote at the meeting.

* The meeting starts at 9 a.m. today at the Chattanoogan hotel on the Southside.

"I think it certainly is a testament to Chattanooga's higher status in the larger business community to have an international company of this stature hold its shareholders' meeting here," he said. "It's great to have the kind of leaders who sit on the AT&T board in Chattanooga to showcase what

this community has to offer."

Bob Doak, president and CEO of the Chattanooga Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, agreed that Chattanooga had much to offer its visitors.

"This will be helpful in our recruitment efforts going forward," he said. "A global company like AT&T has high standards, and I'm glad that we as a community were able to meet those high standards."

Average attendance at the shareholders meetings is around 250, according to AT&T spokesman Dru Cessac.

Continue reading by following this link to a related story:

Article: Jackson brings fight for justice to area companies

about Ellis Smith...

Ellis Smith joined the Chattanooga Times Free Press in January 2010 as a business reporter. His beat includes the flooring industry, Chattem, Unum, Krystal, the automobile market, real estate and technology. Ellis is from Marietta, Ga., and has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication at the University of West Georgia. He previously worked at UTV-13 News, Carrollton, Ga., as a producer; at the The West Georgian, Carrollton, Ga., as editor; and at the Times-Georgian, Carrollton, ...

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Lockandload said...

So he wants to "exercise his rights as a shareholder..."? I wonder which trough he stole out of to buy those shares and further enhance the quality of his life while his "bretheren" still lagging behind? Man's a liar, a disgrace, and a hate-baiter. The only thing good to come out of his mouth is fertilizer.

April 30, 2010 at 4:56 a.m.
redbearded said...

As long as this man lives, there will always be the race card to play. I agree with lockandload, the man is a hypocrite and has bettered himself at the expense of the black man.

April 30, 2010 at 8:45 a.m.
nurseforjustice said...

I agree with L&L and redbearded. He has never even had a real job much less been a real Reverand to anyone. He is a disgrace to his race IMO.

April 30, 2010 at 10:57 a.m.
corpgov said...

The article says one of the shareholder resolutions calls for "lowering the share holdings necessary to attend special shareowner meetings." Any shareowner can get into any shareowner meeting with just one share. The resolution isn't about that at all. Instead, it seeks to give shareholders of 10% of AT&T's outstanding common stock the power to call special shareowner meetings. This is a very popular and much needed corporate governance reform.

April 30, 2010 at 8:26 p.m.
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