Verizon is affected by a wide variety of government policies that have an enormous impact on our business. We owe it to our shareowners, employees and customers to advocate public policies that will enable us to create new services for our customers and compete fairly in the marketplace. In 2021, our policy priorities will cover a range of issues, including but not limited to:
- Ensuring that the federal government adopts policies that make sufficient spectrum available to the wireless industry so the US can continue its global leadership position in 5G;
- Maintaining federal and state tax systems that promote investment and infrastructure deployment;
- Supporting federal privacy legislation that creates clear rules of the road that apply at the national level and equally to all players in the Internet space;
- Ensuring that federal and state policymakers adopt rules and laws that help eliminate barriers to small cell and fiber deployment and that phase out outdated regulations on legacy facilities; and
- Advocating that Congress adopt policies that address affordability, adoption and access of broadband services that would significantly narrow the digital divide and empower more Americans to thrive in the internet age.
Political contributions are one way we support the democratic electoral process and participate in the policy dialogue.
Our employees have established political action committees at the federal level and in 17states. These political action committees (PACs) allow employees to pool their resources to support candidates for office who generally support the public policies our employees advocate. Verizon also participates in trade associations that advocate on behalf of their members. This report lists all PAC contributions, corporate political contributions, support for ballot initiatives and independent expenditures made by Verizon and its affiliates during the first six months of 2021. It also lists our Public Policy organization's significant memberships in trade associations and issue advocacy organizations and provides a link to our federal lobbying reports.
Our political activity is overseen by the Corporate Governance and Policy Committee of our Board of Directors, which receives a comprehensive report and briefing on these activities at least annually.
We update this voluntary disclosure twice a year and publish it on our corporate website. We believe this transparency with respect to our political spending is in keeping with our commitment to good corporate governance and a further sign of our responsiveness to the interests of our shareowners.
Political activity: our voice in the democratic process
our voice in the democratic process
Verizon's Political Engagement
Verizon participates in the policymaking process at the federal, state, and local levels in order to inform public officials of Verizon’s views on policy issues. Government policies can have a big impact on our business, whether they involve decisions on taxes, technology regulation, or consumer issues like protecting user privacy and stopping illegal robocalls. We participate in these conversations so that government decision makers understand how these policies could affect Verizon and our customers, employees, and shareholders.
How we advocate
Lobbying: As part of our advocacy, Verizon engages in lobbying at all levels of government. Verizon lobbies both through our own employees on our government affairs teams and through outside consultants. Verizon’s Public Policy and Government Affairs organization approves any engagement of lobbyists on behalf of Verizon. Verizon strictly complies with all lobbying laws, which require that we disclose our lobbying activities and the amount we spend on lobbying. As described below, we file public reports that outline our activities and expenses related to lobbying.
Political Contributions: Verizon makes corporate political contributions where the law permits. The Verizon Legal Department reviews all corporate political contributions to ensure they are consistent with the company’s policy and strategy and that they comply with the law.
Verizon also operates several political action committees (PACs) that support candidates at the federal, state and local levels who make decisions on policy issues that impact Verizon. All PAC contributions are overseen and approved by senior leaders in the Public Policy and Government Affairs organization.
All contributions by Verizon and our PACs are made to promote the interests of the company, our shareholders and customers, and without regard to the personal political interests of Verizon executives. The criteria we use to support particular candidates depend on various factors, such as general alignment with our business objectives, whether the candidate sits on a committee that addresses legislation that is important to Verizon and our industry, a candidate’s committee standing and ranking, and their leadership position and track record on key strategic business and policy issues for Verizon. We support candidates of any political party who share our priorities, even if we do not agree with them on every issue.
We make contributions to candidates for political office, and organizations that support candidates for office and ballot initiatives. We do not make corporate political contributions or PAC contributions to presidential candidates or federal SuperPACs. Members of Verizon’s PAC boards evaluate and approve the PAC budget and our giving to candidates to ensure that contributions to each candidate meet the criteria described above.
Third Party Organizations: We also make our voice heard through participation in trade associations and by supporting advocacy organizations. Verizon supports these organizations for a variety of reasons, ranging from our interest in the community, to take advantage of industry expertise, or because they have common goals and interests on key strategic policy and business issues. We participate in these organizations despite the fact that we may not always agree with all of the positions of each organization or its other members. These groups often have a diversity of members, interests and viewpoints that may not always reflect Verizon’s beliefs or priorities. We monitor our participation in these organizations to confirm ongoing alignment with our corporate values and goals. When we disagree with a position of an organization we support, we attempt to communicate our concerns through the senior executives that interact with these organizations.
Governance, transparency and disclosure
Verizon’s political activity is directly overseen by the Legal Department and Public Policy and Government Affairs organization, which reports to the Executive Vice President & Chief Administrative, Legal and Public Policy Officer. All of Verizon’s political activity is subject to the company’s Code of Conduct and other corporate policies. The Corporate Governance and Policy Committee of the Board of Directors oversees Verizon’s participation in the political process, including political giving, memberships in trade associations and reputational risk. The Executive Vice President & Chief Administrative, Legal and Public Policy Officer and other senior leaders in the Public Policy and Government Affairs organization provide comprehensive briefings to the Committee on the company’s political activities at least annually.
Verizon knows that transparency regarding our political activity is critical to maintaining the trust of the company’s employees and shareholders, and the public. Here are some of the most significant ways we inform the public about our political activity:
Twice a year, Verizon publishes on our website a report listing all of our corporate political contributions and PAC contributions. This report also discloses trade associations and tax-exempt organizations (501(c)(4) and 501(c)(6) organizations) to which our Public Policy organization provided support of at least $50,000.
Verizon’s political action committees file public disclosure reports with the Federal Election Commission and state and local campaign finance regulators in accordance with applicable laws.
Verizon files public reports with the U.S. Congress and state and local lobbying regulatory bodies disclosing our lobbying activities in accordance with applicable laws. At the federal level, these reports (available at lobbyingdisclosure.house.gov) disclose Verizon’s lobbying activities and the amounts spent by Verizon on those activities.