Two dangerous new “Riot Bills” that would punish people for peacefully protesting are making their way through Wisconsin. They are retaliation for last year's racial justice protests -- and would give police the power to criminalize anyone at a "riot" with a $10,000 fine and up to 9 months in jail. We have to stop this!
Today tech is dominated by a few mega-companies. We’ve watched Facebook, Google, and Amazon get bigger and bigger. These monopolies leave us at risk; it's why we still have to deal with misinformation and voter suppression online. It's time for antitrust reform!
Police foundations are a threat to democracy and Black lives. And you know their sponsors: Verizon, Walmart, Starbucks, Amazon, Bank of America, Target, AT&T, Uber among others. We can't let companies say they support Black people while giving to those who hurt us.
14 people have lost their lives in NYC jail custody this year. 64-year old Victor Mercado caught COVID-19 and died from it in jail because he couldn't afford the $100,000 bail set for his case. This is a humanitarian crisis. Tell Manhattan DA Cy Vance to free people from Rikers now.
By funneling private money into policing without oversight, police foundations bankroll violence against Black people. A year after the NYPD promised to disclose its contributions, we still don't know how much they get through the NYC Police Foundation.
Monopolies are why healthcare and medication costs continue to skyrocket, why misinformation is still rampant on Facebook, and why small Black-owned businesses struggle to compete. We're asking Congress to invest in antitrust laws that will help promote racial justice.
Republicans have unleashed a serious attack on voting rights across the country. Democratic Senators need to pick a side: protect the Jim Crow filibuster or the voting rights of the Black people who got them elected. Pass the Freedom to Vote Act.
Gwen Levi is a 76-year old cancer survivor, grandmother, and Black woman. She is one of thousands who were deemed high risk for COVID-19, and released from prison in 2020 to finish their sentences at home. Recently, she was sent back to prison after missing a phone call from her case manager while attending a computer skills class. In just 4 days, 50k Color of Change members signed a petition calling for her release. Thanks to this public outcry, and the work of her legal team, Ms. Levi was just sent home on compassionate release – which means she is truly free and back with her family, including her 94-year old mother who she helps take care of. Meanwhile we continue to fight for clemency for the 4,000 elders under home confinement who risk being re-incarcerated on a technicality like Ms. Levi, or when the pandemic is declared over.
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Toyota Pulls Funding from Congressmembers Behind the Attack on Capitol
On January 6, 2021, hundreds of armed white nationalists burst through the doors of the Capitol while Congress was in session, threatening to kill people inside. In the wake of the insurrection, we called on dozens of corporations to stop funding crooked Congress members. We launched InsurrectionIncorporated.com, pressuring Toyota, Cigna, AT&T to stop donating to those undermining our democracy. After hundreds of Color Of Change PAC members called Toyota execs, Toyota agreed! Elected officials inciting the insurrection will NOT be allowed to hide behind their Congressional titles. And we continue to hold companies like Cigna, Intel, and JetBlue accountable for supporting those who voted against certifying the 2020 election results and are trying to disenfranchise Black voters today. This is how we protect democracy.
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Color Of Change Helps Athlete & Activist Gwen Berry Attract New Sponsors
All of Gwen Berry’s corporate sponsors dropped her after she boldly raised her fist in protest at the 2019 Pan American Games. Time and again, we’ve seen Black athletes unfairly punished for using their voice to stand up for justice. Color Of Change stepped in to sponsor Berry. We were also part of a successful campaign to get the U.S. Olympic Committee to reverse course and allow athletes to wear armbands, raise their fists, or kneel on the podium to express their political beliefs. Now we’ve persuaded AirBNB and Puma to sponsor Berry as well, which means she’ll have the proper support to succeed going into the Tokyo Olympics. In addition, we continue to demand that the International Olympic Committee drop Rule 50, and calling on major athletic companies like Nike to join us.
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Color Of Change helps people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. As a national online force driven by 7 million members, we move decision makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people, and all people. Until justice is real.
Politico talks about the latest report from Color of Change and watchdog group LittleSis exposing the corporations that contribute to police foundations. The report shows Bank of America, AT&T, Target, Verizon, Walmart, Starbucks, Uber, Delta Airlines, and major sports teams all give to police foundations — funneling money for special equipment and programs that target Black and Brown communities. Now Color Of Change are members are stepping up to urge companies to divest from police foundations across the country. The full report can be found at https://policefoundations.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Police-Report-2021_10_05_FINALV3.pdf
Many of the same corporations trumpeting support for Black lives are duplicitously bankrolling police violence through little-known but powerful police foundations, a new Color Of Change and LittleSis report revealed. The report highlights financial ties between police foundations and 55 Fortune 500 firms. It notes, “There is a police foundation in nearly every major American city, behind almost every police department, backed by wealthy donors and giant multinational corporations. In 2020, many police foundations’ top corporate sponsors made public statements in support of Black Lives Matter while providing a corporate slush fund for police.” COC President Rashad Robinson is quoted, “Only cutting ties with police foundations will show that corporate leaders are serious about protecting Black lives and bringing our police departments into the 21st century… We cannot let corporations talk about ‘Black lives’ on their Twitter feeds while also funding police violence on our streets.”
Criminal justice reform experts are hopeful that if Texas governor Greg Abbott approves a pardon request for George Floyd’s decades old drug charges, it will send a message about the prejudices of a system that disproportionately incarcerates Black and Latino people. At the murder trial, Derek Chauvin’s defense lawyers tried to portray Floyd’s history of drug use as the cause of his death or a justification for the violence inflicted upon him — a common tactic in police defenses. Color Of Change’s Sr Director of Criminal Justice Campaigns Scott Roberts is quoted. “Like many other Black people who are killed by police, George Floyd’s character was tarnished by rightwing media, who used his past conviction record as a way to indict him for his own murder.” Floyd’s 2004 arrest and conviction have come under scrutiny as the undercover officer involved has himself been charged with murder and drug trafficking in Houston. “It will hopefully bring more attention and scrutiny to the miscarriages of justice that play out daily in our communities, police stations, and court rooms.”
The Senate filibuster is the biggest obstacle to passing legislation on a wide range of issues Biden promised to address from immigration, police reform and voting rights to gun control and raising the minimum wage. Groups that helped mobilize the massive turnout in 2020 warn that failing to overturn the filibuster will have disastrous consequences. Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson says, “Is it going to be our job to go out and to explain to people, ‘Hey, we know you turned out in 2020 in the midst of a global pandemic… You put your health on the line… You overcame all sorts of voter suppression tactics, and now let me tell you why none of those things actually happened that you thought you were promised: it’s this thing called the filibuster’ … Democrats are making a huge miscalculation if they think that folks are going to continue to put rocks on their backs and climb uphill if the Democrats are not willing to do the work to undo Jim Crow rules that time and again have been used to stall progress.”
Last week, the bipartisan talks around the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act ended without a deal as both sides came to an impasse over qualified immunity. Bridgett Floyd said she could barely find the words to describe her disappointment in lawmakers for failing to pass sweeping reforms bearing her brother’s name. Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson said he’s unsurprised talks broke down in a “filibuster environment” designed to block civil rights laws. Voters of color turned out in record numbers last year to elect Democrats he says, and they are being let down. “It’s unacceptable that our leaders continue to fail to deliver. Democrats got the majority and they can’t keep telling our community to put aside our safety, our dignity, our humanity in the face of unchecked violent policing.”
The investigation into the death of Long Island native Gabby Petito hits close to home for families of still missing loved ones. National media coverage and tips were a huge help in the investigation; now many are asking why the same kind of attention is rarely if ever given to missing people of color. The disparity in national news coverage of missing persons based on race is dramatic. It’s another example of how Black lives simply are not valued. Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson talks about how poor representation on TV shows play into the problem. “We produced a report called ‘Normalizing Injustice’ … and talked to writers and producers, they felt like people would turn off the TV if the victim was a black woman.” It’s a wake-up call, he says, for the media to take a look at their own biases, which have a real effect on safety in communities of color.