A Community Petition to Kickstarter
We are heavy users of Kickstarter. We include project creators and backers, early investors in the company, and former employees. What we have in common is a love for the platform you’ve built and a respect for the company’s support for independent creators, inclusive culture, and long-term thinking business practices. We’ve cheered you on as you launched without venture capital, grew thoughtfully and organically, transparently audited your processes, protected our data, found new ways to connect artists with consumers, and became a Public Benefit Corporation. Our work, values, and money are entangled with Kickstarter. For many of us, our careers depend on Kickstarter maintaining the reputation and good will you have built over the last decade.
So it has saddened us to see Kickstarter disavowing and fighting the unionization efforts of a group of employees, and seemingly terminating the employees who are taking the lead in this work. We’ve heard your arguments about why you want the union to go to a vote; we’ve also seen your leaked documents taking a clear stance against it.
This stance and these actions are especially confusing, because they go so much against the ethos and stated values—and even the legal structure—of Kickstarter. We are concerned that the current leadership at Kickstarter does not have the vision to continue to take the company along the path that we’ve been eager to join you on for the past decade. The quality of your product is undeniable; it is also deeply dependent on your values. Without Kickstarter’s willingness to go where other tech and media companies fear to, it would just be another damn website that we grudgingly resented even if we still felt compelled to use it to keep the small capitalist gears of our art moving. That resentment is now starting to set in, and the longer it lingers the harder it will be to shake.
Here are our requests:
We ask that you speak candidly about your internal debates about the unionization process so that there can be a clear negotiation and open conversation on level ground.
We ask that you publicly examine your process of deciding how to handle politically-fraught projects so that even when we disagree we can continue to trust that our own work is in good hands.
We ask that you re-hire the three union organizers who were fired in the beginning of September.
We ask that you meet the unionization effort in good faith so that even if Kickstarter workers choose not to unionize, it will not be because you stood in their way.
We ask that you use your considerable influence to ask other tech and media companies to support workers and unions.
We are stepping together into a frightening new political era and we’d feel better about it with the Kickstarter we’ve grown to trust on our side.
*By filling out the form below, you give us permission to publish your name as a signer of this petition, and to contact you if needed to verify your identity and intention. We will not publish or share your contact information. Signatures with invalid email addresses will not be published.*
*This petition has been independently organized and is not affiliated with Kickstarter United, but has been launched with the support and blessing of one of the organizers.*
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Your Kickstarter affiliation (eg, "100 projects created, over $100,000 raised"; or "80 project superbacker"; or "Former Kickstarter employee")
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