Emails help, but tweets do not (unless they generate emails)

Executive Summary:

Please email comments to SEC on Crowdfunding Exemption (File No. 4-605)!  If more people don’t simply email the SEC (at rule-comments@sec.gov) about crowdfunded securities, it will continue to look like there’s very little public interest in the issue.

Body:

Most political operations invite you to sign some semi-meaningless petition as a psychological trick to lead you to contribute money.  “Well, I’ve already taken the effort to sign my name,” you’re supposed to think, “so I might as well kick in a few bucks while I’m at it.”

The Crowdfunding Campaign to Change Crowdfunding Law is in the opposite situation– we don’t need any more money.  We already raised the funds for supporting the Sustainable Economies Law Center to draft its mighty petition to the SEC, “Request for rulemaking to exempt securities offerings up to $100,000 with $100 maximum per investor from registration” (PDF).  That was the hard part, and it’s done.

But the second phase of the campaign is to get people to email the SEC with comments on the petition, in order to demonstrate public interest and support for the idea of a “crowdsourcing exemption” for low-value securities.  And so far, this second part has failed.  From the relative lack of comments submitted over the past few months (20 have trickled in so far), the SEC could easily conclude that the public doesn’t care about a crowdfunding exemption.

But I suspect that interest is out there; it just hasn’t shown up to the demonstration site yet.  Soon after the SEC posted the petition to its website (July 1) I wrote a blog post to spread the word and encourage comment submissions. During the following two weeks, hundreds of people tweeted and retweeted the campaign, saying things like “This is cool.”  This showed interest, but meanwhile, only a few people actually sent emails to rule-comments@sec.gov, so almost all of that interest went nowhere.  I know it sounds cranky to say this, but if a fraction of the people who tweeted the campaign had instead sent one-line emails to the SEC, it would have been a powerful demonstration!

I haven’t had much spare time since then to shake the trees on this, but now I’m getting back to it.  I want all the great work so far to go somewhere, rather than fizzle away to nothing!  That’s why last week I finally submitted my own comment on the petition, and now I’m writing this to harass you to do the same!

So, please send in a comment, even a very short one (“I agree”), and/or get others to do so!  It’s easy, and you can do it in less time than it took you to read this far.

Seth Elliott’s Facebook page dedicated to this effort has full instructions– but note that “liking” the campaign on FB does nothing; what matters is actually emailing the SEC.  Frederic Baud has wrapped the email specs up into a mailto: link that’s one-click easy.  I’ll also spell them out here:

1. Email the SEC at: rule-comments@sec.gov.

2. In the Subject line write: Re: File # 4-605

3. In the body of the email write “These are comments in regards to a petition for rulemaking change,” or similar, and then say whatever you want.

That’s it!

If you are currently involved with crowdfunding small business ventures, or ever expect to be in the future, I believe it is very much in your best interest to spend a small bit of time to fire off a quick email to the SEC.

As Peter J. Chepucavage, Executive Director of the CFAW and General Counsel for the Plexus Consulting Group in Washington DC said in his comment (PDF), “This independent proposal can be a focal point for encouraging the commission’s attention to the need for small business flexibility and should be incorporated into a formal rulemaking procedure.”  (Thanks, Peter!)

2 thoughts on “Emails help, but tweets do not (unless they generate emails)”

  1. I just emailed one – thanks for posting this. I don’t know very much about the issue, pretty much only what I’ve read here, so it’s not the most literate or well-informed comment. But hopefully it has, you know, heart, or something.

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