APRIL 04, 2012 / BY GABRIEL REY-GOODLATTE Tell Coca-Cola to stop funding ALEC

Tell Coca-Cola to stop funding voter suppression:

UPDATE: (04/04/12) Coke tells the Washington Examiner it's chosen to end its membership in ALEC. We respond.

Today, ColorOfChange members are making calls to Coca-Cola to demand that the company stop funding the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC has pushed voter ID laws that disenfranchise large numbers of Black voters. Along with the NRA, ALEC also pushed legislation based on Florida's "Shoot First" law — which has shielded Trayvon Martin's killer from justice — into two dozen states across the country.

Click here to make a phone call to Coca-Cola and tell them to stop funding ALEC's dangerous agenda.

Here's the email we started sending to ColorOfChange members this morning:

 

Why is Coke
suppressing your vote?

Coca-Cola funds a group that is trying to disenfranchise millions

Tell Coca-Cola to stop
funding voter suppression:

Join Us

Dear ColorOfChange.org member,

You and more than 85,000 ColorOfChange members have called on corporations to stop supporting the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) because of its role in voter suppression.

We contacted Coca-Cola to make sure they understand that through their membership in ALEC, they are supporting racially-discriminatory voter ID laws1,2 that have the potential to disenfranchise over 5 million people in the upcoming elections.3 They told us they "recognize the importance of voting rights" but claimed that they weren't responsible for ALEC's voter ID legislation.

But it doesn't matter whether the company had a direct role in the legislation — by funding ALEC, Coca-Cola is supporting an effort to disenfranchise African Americans, Latinos, students, the elderly, the disabled and the poor. Eventually, representatives from Coca-Cola stopped responding to our emails and phone calls.

Will you help us hold Coca-Cola accountable for supporting voter suppression? Please take a moment to call to Coca-Cola and demand that they stop supporting ALEC:

http://act.colorofchange.org/call/coke

Coca-Cola is a well-known household brand. By associating themselves with ALEC, they lend legitimacy to a radical organization that is undermining voting rights and democracy.

Coca-Cola has made a substantial amount of money from Black consumers. Yet, in turn, they are placing a hefty membership fee in the hands of a group that is working to weaken the Black vote. We can't let Coca-Cola take our money with one hand and take away our vote with the other.

The ballot box isn't the only place where ALEC's policies are dangerous for Black people.

Florida's "Shoot First" law has thus far shielded George Zimmerman from being arrested for shooting Trayvon Martin, a 17 year-old armed only with a pack of Skittles and an iced tea. ALEC views the Florida "Shoot First" law as a "model" piece of legislation for other states to adopt and they have helped push it into over two dozen states, with it under consideration in eight more.4 The group has also written legislation to impose harsher criminal penalties on juveniles, to privatize education, and to break unions.

Coca-Cola's financial support of ALEC must end. Please join us in calling on Coca-Cola to disassociate itself from ALEC and stop supporting an agenda that harms Black people and anyone who cares about equality in our democracy. It just takes a minute:

http://act.colorofchange.org/call/coke

Thanks and Peace,

--Rashad, Gabriel, Dani, Matt, Natasha, Kim and the rest of the ColorOfChange.org team
   April 4th, 2012

References

1. "New Evidence of ALEC Connections in All Successful Voter ID Legislation," Campus Progress, 09-08-11 

http://www.campusprogress.org/articles/new_evidence_of_alec_connections_in_all_successful_

voter_id_legislatio/

2. "First, show your face," The Economist, 09-17-11 

http://www.economist.com/node/21529061

3. "GOP, ALEC Could Make It Harder For 5 Million To Cast Ballots," Mother Jones, 10-3-11
http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/10/gop-alec-could-make-it-harder-5-million-cast-ballots

4. "Blood for Money: NRA, ALEC, & 'Shoot First' Laws," Center for Media and Democracy/ALECExposed.org (.pdf),
http://www.sourcewatch.org/images/1/1b/BloodforMoneyFINAL.pdf