FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tim Rusch, [email protected], 917 399 0236
CJ Frogozo, [email protected], 310 570 2622
New York, NY – Today, radio listeners in cities across the country will begin hearing 30-second radio spots that draw the connection between pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the shadowy policy group that has worked to suppress the Black vote and push so-called “stand your ground” laws nationwide. The advertisements are the latest effort in the ColorOfChange-led campaign calling on companies to abandon ALEC and its commitment to crafting legislation that attacks the rights of African Americans, Latinos, workers, and the poor.
“With these ads, we are spreading the news about Johnson & Johnson’s ties to ALEC even more aggressively,” said ColorOfChange Executive Director Rashad Robinson. “Our goal is to help consumers understand that Johnson & Johnson helps fund a secretive and undemocratic organization that has passed laws that restrict access to the polls for Black folks, Latinos, low-income voters and other marginalized groups. The stakes are too high, and Americans deserve to know when their spending habits promote polices that are at odds with their values.”
The ads will air this week on radio stations targeting African Americans in Chicago, DC and New Brunswick, NJ, where Johnson & Johnson headquarters are located. The ads will also air in Sanford, FL, where 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was killed in February. The unarmed teenager’s killer, George Zimmerman, evaded arrest for more than a month as his defenders pointed to Florida’s “stand your ground” as justification for his actions. The NRA and ALEC exported this law to more than 20 states across the country, jeopardizing the safety of Americans nationwide.
ColorOfChange began contacting Johnson & Johnson in November of last year in an effort to educate the company about ALEC’s role in voter suppression. The ColorOfChange community and members of allied organizations began calling the company’s leadership in April to amplify the demand to drop ALEC. Johnson & Johnson has refused to do so, even as competitor Procter & Gamble announced in April that it would end its membership in the right-wing policy group.
Since ColorOfChange launched its campaign, 18 companies have announced that they will end their memberships. These companies include Wal-Mart, 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.
ColorOfChange members signed a 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.