Extended Stay America encourages voter registration

George Sell George Sell Uploaded 09 August 2020

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US: Extended Stay America has joined the STAY Counted campaign, an initiative to encourage voter registration and participation in the November US presidential election

Nearly 600 ESA hotel properties in 41 states have become virtual voter registration centres with the aim of helping guests and employees exercise their right to vote.

The move has partly been inspired by the racial and civic unrest following George Floyd’s killing, which Bruce Haase, president and chief executive officer of Extended Stay America, said impacted employees and guests alike. “We have a diverse group of properties in many states with a highly diverse customer mix and a highly diverse workforce, and there are certain elements that have felt disenfranchised before.”

“You saw all these companies putting out these hollow corporate press releases that basically said nothing.There was no action behind them.”

Haase and his team were determined to do something tangible: “What can we do as an organisation to empower people to have a voice? Obviously, we have a valuable platform of over 550 company owned hotels and we have 70,000 people accommodated in those hotels every night. Because we're an extended-stay brand, many guests are away from their homes for a more extended period of time because they're in some sort of transition or long-term job assignment. It seemed to us that we had an obligation to reach those people, help empower them.”

In an interview with Forbes, Haase stressed that the effort is pro-democracy and pro-voter, but not partisan. “We're just here to help people have their voice be heard. I don't think that's partisan. I think it’s American," he said.

The company has established an online resource where guests can begin the registration process as well as find online resources. For those who live in states that do not offer online registration, Extended Stay America is providing guidance on how to register by post, along with stamped envelopes.

Each Extended Stay America property has designated some employees as voter registration ambassadors, ready to answer any questions and help guests with the voter registration process.

Leading up to the election, Extended Stay America will communicate with guests through email campaigns, lobby cards, information shared on hotel TV monitors, and stickers provided to associates and guests who register to vote.

The company is also providing each of its 8,000 staff with paid time off to vote in the November election.

 

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