Today, NPR broke the news that PepsiCo has also dropped its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The shadowy group has pushed discriminatory voter ID laws in statehouses across the country. ALEC is also behind Kill at Will bills like the Florida legislation being used to defend George Zimmerman, the man who killed Trayvon Martin. From the NPR piece:
Coca-Cola’s announcement came hours after a civil rights group, ColorOfChange.org, launched an online drive calling on Coca-Cola to stop underwriting the ALEC agenda on voter ID laws in several states…
It’s part of a much broader campaign to spotlight companies that sell products to a public that might object to hard-line conservative policies such as stand your ground laws or requirements that voters show a photo ID at the polls….
Some civil rights groups say voter ID laws are discriminatory and suppress minority voter turnout.
“The clear and simple message was that you can’t come for black folks’ money by day and try to take away our vote by night,” said Rashad Robinson, director of ColorOfChange.
PepsiCo, another soft drink giant, belonged to ALEC for 10 years. In January, a company vice president told ColorOfChange that it wouldn’t renew for 2012.
He didn’t say it was because of ALEC’s stance on voter ID laws. But in an email to ColorOfChange, he said that issue would be considered if PepsiCo ever weighs rejoining ALEC.
PepsiCo said it had no further comment.
Since late last year, 85,000 ColorOfChange members have signed a petition targeting ALEC’s corporate partners for their role in suppressing Black votes. The recent revelation that ALEC legislation may stand between Trayvon Martin’s killer and justice forced us to redouble our efforts. Hundreds of ColorOfChange members called Coca-Cola yesterday to demand that they stop funding ALEC. Within hours the company announced it had dropped the group. It’s proof that ColorOfChange members — standing strong with our alies — are able to force real corporate accountability.
It’s time to make sure other companies follow suit. We’ll continue to keep you updated on ways you can stay involved. If you haven’t already, please join our demand to stop corporate-sponsored voter suppression here.