Enabling voter engagement at Fastly: investing in our teams and communities
For our U.S. employees and customers, there’s a major election coming up in November. But as a global company, we recognize that participating in our respective electoral processes is important for all of us. Regardless of anyone’s particular political beliefs, we believe that channeling our energies toward positive action is a good antidote for what can be a stressful time. We see that now more than ever, engaging in our democracy is critical — and Fastly is invested in making sure our internal community has the tools and resources to do so effectively.
Why we’re getting involved now
As the world has increasingly gone online during COVID-19, so too has information about candidates, voter registration, polling places, and more. We have always been supportive of customers who provide essential information and news around the world, and we’re proud to serve organizations like dosomething.org that are creating real impact.
We also recognized that we could do more to support our internal staff when it comes to making their voices heard at the polls. According to the United States Election Project, nearly half of eligible voters did not vote in the 2016 U.S. election. Companies have a civic responsibility, and studies have shown they can make an important difference on this issue: when businesses participate in the electoral process, they increase voter turnout and engagement. Which is why we’re leaning into our values of being good people and operating with integrity, and stepping up at this time.
How we’re participating
Here are some of the ways we’re supporting voting efforts this year:
For the first time, we’re making Election Day a holiday for all Fastlyans during their national elections, so that everyone has plenty of time and energy to get to the polls.
We’re co-sponsoring Votechella, aimed at creating an inclusive platform for civic engagement.
We’ve created a five-week internal campaign for our employees to encourage education and action: from promoting volunteer opportunities with organizations that largely serve disenfranchised populations, to inviting people to text bank and make postcards for voter registration, to supporting Election Day by sharing resources as to how to become a poll worker or recruit poll workers at election sites.
We launched an internal Slack channel and documentation to drive conversation, connect with each other, surface resources, and have some fun along the way.
Through nonpartisan initiatives, we are challenging employees to get involved in ways they may never have before — but also allowing them to guide the actions they choose to take or the levels they wish to engage on. And most of the actions we are proposing are virtual, so that people can be engaged and still stay safe.
All this news comes at an exciting time for Fastly. We officially welcomed Signal Sciences to the Fastly team to offer unparalleled security solutions to the market. We just hired the fantastic Doniel Sutton, our new Chief People Officer, who brings more than 20 years of values-driven experience to the team. And we’ve been hiring many new people and new functions to the Fastly team. Now, I’m proud to add our get out the vote initiative to the list. We’ve doubled down and reinforced our commitment to pulling the levers that promote justice and inclusivity, and banded together to support our common interests in being pro-democracy, pro-voter, and pro-fun.
Bringing it all together
Ultimately, our get out the vote initiative is aimed at supporting our customers and nonprofit organizations with expertise in voter engagement, as well as making all our employees feel informed and supported during this time. We know that as our company scales and the support behind our Inclusion and Diversity efforts grows, we have more opportunities to uplift the most vulnerable. We can provide funding to civic engagement organizations that are educating and empowering disenfranchised voters, and implementing grassroots efforts that reach low-income, underrepresented, and first-time voter communities. We’re proud to be stepping up in this way, while also embracing humility and acknowledging that there’s so much more we can do in the future to continue our efforts and expand. We invite you to join us on this new journey and do as much as you can to break down barriers and get every eligible voter to the polls!