General Motors and Walgreens are the 29th and 30th major American corporations to leave the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The news comes as the group begins it’s 39th annual meeting in Salt Lake City this week.
“Walgreens’ and GM’s recent announcements that they have cut ties with ALEC is further proof that everyday people working together to hold corporations accountable can achieve tremendous change,” said ColorOfChange.org Executive Director Rashad Robinson. “The ColorOfChange community applauds these companies’ willingness to end their relationships with this right-wing policy group that has worked to suppress the Black vote.”
“ColorOfChange commends those corporations that have done the right thing and withdrawn their funding from ALEC, which continues to defend its push to enact discriminatory voter ID laws across the nation,” Robinson said. “More and more companies are getting the message that they cannot in good conscience market products to our communities while handing over customers’ dollars to an organization that suppresses the rights and endangers the safety of people of color.”
Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), who is in Utah for the ALEC meeting, commended the companies: “I applaud GM and Walgreens on the decision to quit ALEC and urge other Utah companies, like 1-800-Contacts, to follow their lead.” 1-800-Contacts is the ALEC corporate co-chair for the state of Utah, tasked under ALEC’s published bylaws with raising money to send legislators to ALEC meetings and assisting legislative leaders with passing ALEC bills. A year ago, CMD launched ALECexposed.org after analyzing over 800 ALEC “model bills” secretly voted on by corporate lobbyists and politicians that were provided by a whistleblower.
Utah companies on ALEC’s “host committee” for the event include Deseret Power Electric Cooperative in South Jordan, Imagine Learning in Provo, Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City, Rocky Mountain Power in Salt Lake City, Workers Compensation Fund in Salt Lake City, and Zions Bank in Salt Lake City.
Robinson also announced that ColorOfChange and allied organizations have begun asking their members to call the online shopping and auction site eBay and urge the company to terminate its relationship with ALEC. eBay competitor Amazon made the announcement that it had dropped ALEC during the company’s shareholder meeting in May.