FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tim Rusch, 917.399.0236, [email protected]
Rachel Tardiff, 202.746.1507, [email protected]
We are pleased that Clear Channel has decided to remove billboards that started popping up last week in Black and Latino neighborhoods in Cleveland, Columbus and Milwaukee. The ads were placed by an anonymous group in a blatant attempt to scare people away from voting. Clear Channel, which is owned by Bain Capital, has a history of participating in these efforts, having allowed similar billboards to run anonymously in 2010.
Thanks to over 100,000 people including more than 66,000 members of ColorOfChange.org who signed petitions to Clear Channel demanding that they remove these offensive and dangerous billboards and a coordinated effort by many groups including the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights under Law and Cleveland City Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland. Members of CREDO Action, SumOfUs.org, SignOn.org, and activists using the Change.org platform also participated.
The following is a statement from ColorOfChange Executive Director Rashad Robinson:
“We're pleased that after hearing from more than 100,000 people across the country, Clear Channel has finally decided to stop enabling this attack on Black and Latino voters by an anonymous group. It is telling that the group behind these ads, when given the choice by Clear Channel, wanted to cancel the ads and continue hiding in the shadows rather than publicly stand behind the ads. These billboards are part of a massive right wing effort to suppress the votes of African Americans, Latinos and other people of color for political gain.
While we celebrate this victory for voting rights, we are also aware that these same ads are being hosted by another outdoor company, Norton Outdoor in Cincinnati. Norton's continued refusal to pull down these anonymous voter suppression ads speaks to their values. ColorOfChange members will continue to raise their voices until all ads are removed."
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With more than 800,000 members, ColorOfChange.org is the nation’s largest Black online civil rights organization.