The Tri Valley Democratic Club has adopted a resolution calling for state and federal legislation to “hold corporate individuals criminally responsible for decisions that endanger the public whether they be deliberate or through negligence.”

The resolution, adopted last month, accuses corporations of producing “unsafe products and services … that harm the physical, mental and financial health of our society.”

As evidence, it cites opioid abuse, price gouging on personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic, unsafe airplanes, vaping marketed to children, private information “sold to those who rig our elections,” defective airbags in automobiles, California wildfires that were blamed on PG&E and killed 84 people, and banks committing “mortgage fraud” and “leaving kids to live in cars.”

Although it acknowledges that corporations have been fined, the resolution claims that no corporate executives have gone to jail for their misconduct. The resolution adds that “corporate fines have not been sufficient in changing the criminal behavior of corporate decision makers because they have not been held personally and criminally responsible for their actions.”

In a news release, the Democratic Club said it supports state legislation that would apply to “all those doing business” in California, and federal legislation that would apply to “all corporations and executives doing business in this country.”

“The only real deterrent to corporate criminality is real jail time for those who put profit before safety, health, privacy and the environment,” according to the news release. “Those who knowingly do harm because of a financial incentive must face justice and let a jury decide if what they did is deserving of prison time.”