FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Timothy K. Rusch firstname.lastname@example.org
New York, NY - The following is a statement from ColorOfChange.org Executive Director Rashad Robinson:
"This week, ColorOfChange members have been calling executives at Yum! Brands to ask the company to end its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Today, employees in Yum! Brands' corporate headquarters have told our members and ColorOfChange staff that the company has in fact dropped ALEC. In doing so, the operator of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell has restored our belief that it stands in favor of crafting legislation in view of the public, rather than behind closed doors.
"We sent CEO David Novak's office a letter last year expressing our concerns about ALEC's role in voter suppression, and in early February received a noncommittal response from James Fripp, the company's Senior Director of Global Diversity & Inclusion. That letter said that Yum! was not part of ALEC's Private Enterprise Board, but did not communicate that the company had severed ties completely with the conservative policy group.
"Now we know that Yum! Brands has joined the 11 other companies that have announced in recent weeks that they're no longer members of ALEC. These companies are 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), 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. 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 an 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/
In addition, more than 170,000 ColorOfChange members have signed the petition calling on the Department of Justice to take over the Trayvon Martin case, arrest Martin's killer, and launch an independent investigation into the Sanford police department's mishandling of the case. The petition can be found here: http://www.colorofchange.org/campaign/trayvon/
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With more than 800,000 members, ColorOfChange.org is the nation’s largest African-American online civil rights organization.