ColorOfChange Applauds Mars Inc.'s Decision to End its Membership in ALEC
Company is Seventh to Announce it Has Cut Ties with Right-Wing Group
April 12, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Rachel Tardiff, 202.746.1507
New York, NY - The following is a statement from ColorOfChange.org Executive Director Rashad Robinson:
"The ColorOfChange community is thrilled to learn that Mars has ended its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council. We began communicating with Mars, Inc. in January, and today's announcement confirms that when corporate leaders become educated about ALEC's role in pushing voter suppression and Kill at Will bills nationwide, they quickly realize that association with ALEC is bad for business.
"Now Mars Inc. (manufacturer of products including Uncle Ben's, Snickers, M&Ms and Dove chocolates) joins Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Kraft Foods, Intuit, McDonald's and Wendy's on the list of companies that have decided in recent months to end membership in ALEC and place the integrity of their brands above association with a shadowy policy group.
"We want to thank Mars for making the right decision, and we want to thank ColorOfChange members and our partners. Here is the statement that we received from Mars Inc. through Carl Dinnen, a reporter with London’s ITN Channel 4 News, covering the issue:
Earlier this year, Mars, Incorporated reviewed all of its trade associations and sponsorships and decided not to renew the ALEC membership in 2012. In the past, we attended the ALEC annual meeting to create awareness of our positive economic impact and job creation in the communities where we operate. At no point was Mars ever involved in ALEC’s policymaking or Private Enterprise Board.
"We continue to call on all major corporations to stop supporting voter suppression through ALEC. Our members and allied groups are prepared to hold accountable companies that continue to participate in ALEC's attack on voting rights."
This week, ColorOfChange members and partner organizations began calling on AT&T, State Farm and Johnson & Johnson to cut ties with ALEC. Members of the coalition include Common Cause, People for the American Way, Progress Now, the Center for Media and Democracy, CREDO Action and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.
The tragedy of Trayvon Martin's death – and the 'Stand your Ground' law that until yesterday helped his killer evade arrest – 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:
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With more than 800,000 members, ColorOfChange.org is the nation’s largest African-American online civil rights organization.
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