Blacks spend more than $ 106 billion in the Georgian economy. We expect the companies we support to SUPPORT us and to fight against racist measures that undermine the right to vote. We don’t need any instructions @CocaCola @Delta @SouthernCompany. We need ACTION! STOP VOTING VOTERS! pic.twitter.com/lFbgZhBQEy
– LaTosha Brown (@MsLaToshaBrown) March 4, 2021 campaign action
The campaign took root after independent journalist website Popular Information reported top state companies that have given Republican lawmakers millions of dollars in support of proposed voting restriction legislation since 2018. AT&T donated $ 99,700; Aetna / CVS / Caremark gave $ 43,300; and even Lyft gave $ 6,000, the news site reported.
Walmart, SunTrust / Truist, UnitedHealth, Publix, General Motors, Home Depot, UPS, Coca-Cola, Southern Company, Comcast, and Delta Air Lines were listed as companies giving GOP legislators more than $ 20,000 in support of restrictive voting laws Have provided. Others on the list include Pfizer, AllState, Anthem / BCBS Georgia, Anheuser-Busch, Verizon, Walgreens, T-Mobile, and Aflac.
Nsé Ufot, chairman of the New Georgia Voter Registration Project, told Popular Information that Coca-Cola, which had launched an advertising campaign to encourage voter participation, and other companies needed to take a stand. “Corporate brands are using Georgia’s civil rights history to fatten their bottom dollar,” said Ufot. “It’s time to ask the question, where are you on this subject? Which side are you on? You can’t hide in the shadows.” . ”
The Georgia General Assembly passed one of the bills, House Bill 531, on Monday. It threatens to add a voter ID requirement to the postal voting process, restrict the use of dropboxes, and force counties to choose between opening polls on Saturdays or Sundays. Bee Nguyen told 11 Alive. “We know that forcing the vote between the Saturday and Sunday polls affects black voters who cast their votes with ‘souls to the polls’ to cast their votes,” said Nguyen of the voting initiative that was deliberately launched after the Church is scheduled on Sunday. The bill also defines giving food or water to voters as an offense in some cases, 11 Alive reported.
“If we’re really not trying to suppress the vote, why are we making it a problem to give someone water at all,” said Democratic MP Patty Bentley in a WMAZ interview. She voted against the legislation slated for a vote in the Senate next week, WMAZ reported.
In addition to the restrictions on the House Bill, Senate Bill 241 addresses the ban on no-excuse postal voting, a legal right in Georgia since 2005 when David Shafer, leader of the Republican Party of Georgia, voted in support of the legislation. “Either Black Lives Matter or not. Which side are you on at @CocaCola @Delta @UPS?” MP David Dreyer tweeted on Wednesday.
Your responses to the Atlanta Journal’s constitution have been uninspired at best and offensive at worst. Delta did not acknowledge the allegations against the company at all. “Delta is more than 75,000 strong – and our shared values call us to make our voices heard and to be committed members of our communities, of which voting is an integral part of that responsibility,” the company said in its statement the AJC. “Ensuring an electoral system that promotes broad turnout, equal access to elections and fair, safe electoral processes is critical to voter confidence and creates an environment that ensures that all votes are counted.”
Coca-Cola made a similar general statement but described the vote as a “fundamental right”. “We support the efforts of the Metro Atlanta Chamber and Georgia Chamber of Commerce to facilitate a balanced approach to the electoral laws introduced in the Georgia Legislature at this session,” the company said in its statement. “The ultimate goal should be fair and safe elections, with broad and broad access to voting.”
UPS quoted its “Drive the Vote” campaign, a “non-partisan” action that advocates “no particular candidate or party”. “UPS believes in the importance of the democratic process and supports facilitating the ability of all eligible voters to exercise their civic duty,” the company said in its statement. “We are committed to the awareness and commitment of the voters.”
It is unclear how any of the statements addressed the call for black activists to divest support from lawmakers campaigning for a restrictive electoral law. The campaign also calls on companies to support proposed federal voting legislation, including the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. The former, which the House passed on Wednesday, would Expand access to ballot papers by setting up automatic voter registration across the country, restoring the voting rights of former detainees, expanding early voting and modernizing voting systems, Brown said on Twitter Thursday. The latter would restore the voting rights law and update the formula used to determine which states require pre-clearance from the US District Court for the District of Columbia to change items related to voting in a protected jurisdiction. “As workers, citizens and consumers, we expect you to stand up against anti-democratic and racist laws that are taken into account in Georgian lawmakers,” said voting rights organizations on their campaign flyer. “Our right to vote is at risk.”
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