ColorOfChange Applauds Wal-Mart's Decision to End its Membership in ALEC

Company is 18th to Leave the American Legislative Exchange Council

May 31, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Timothy K. Rusch
tim@fitzgibbonmedia.com

New York, NY - The following is a statement from ColorOfChange.org Executive Director Rashad Robinson:

"The ColorOfChange community welcomes Wal-Mart's decision to cut ties with ALEC, the right-wing policy group that has worked to suppress the Black vote. With this move, the company acknowledges that it has heard the voices of everyday people who believe in transparency in government and who see the particular impact ALEC's model laws have had on Black communities nationwide.

"We began communications with Wal-Mart soon after launching our effort to educate corporations about ALEC's role pushing voter suppression laws nationwide. Now we know that the company heard us loud and clear. Last night's announcement -- from the largest company yet to announce its departure from ALEC -- is testament to the power of everyday people to make real change."

Wal-Mart is both the country's largest retailer of firearms and the largest private employer of Black Americans. With Wednesday's announcement, the company becomes the 18th to announce it has dropped ALEC. The company joins Amazon, Procter & Gamble, Yum! Brands, McDonald's, Wendy's, Mars Inc., Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Kraft Foods, Intuit, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Reed Elsevier (owner of LexisNexis and publisher of science and health information), Kaplan, Scantron, Medtronic, American Traffic Solutions and Arizona Public Service.

"We want to thank these companies for making the right decision, and we want to thank ColorOfChange members and our partners. We continue to call on all major corporations to stop funding ALEC given its involvement in voter suppression and its work pushing policies designed to benefit rich and powerful corporations at the expense of people of color, workers, and the environment. Our members and allied groups are prepared to hold accountable companies that continue to associate themselves with an organization that has attacked voting rights, causing irreparable damage nationwide."

The tragedy of Trayvon Martin's death – and the so-called "stand your ground" law that helped his killer evade arrest for more than a month – is another example of how ALEC's agenda is dangerous for people of color. The NRA and ALEC exported Florida's “stand your ground” law to more than 20 states across the country, jeopardizing the safety of Americans nationwide.

ColorOfChange members signed a earlier petition targeting ALEC’s corporate partners for their role in suppressing Black votes. The petition can be found here: http://www.colorofchange.org/campaign/alec/

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With more than 800,000 members, ColorOfChange.org is the nation’s largest Black online civil rights organization.

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