Owning stock in a company gives an investor the right to vote on important matters concerning corporate policies and governance, including the election of corporate directors. Prior to its annual meeting, or any other time that it solicits shareowner votes, a U.S. company must send shareholders a proxy statement and proxy card or ballot. The proxy statement is filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and discusses the company’s management, operations and financial data, along with descriptions of the proposals on which shareholders are asked to vote. Public companies ask their investors to consider and vote on an array of proposals, in addition to the election of directors. Proposals can be sponsored by shareholders or management, and can cover topics ranging from mergers and acquisitions to executive compensation to sustainable labor and environmental practices.