by Melanie Wilmoth Navarro
(Note: This article was updated on 4/10/12.)
In the wake of Trayvon Martin’s killing, groups are boycotting the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
ALEC is the well-funded conservative organization behind the controversial “stand your ground” gun laws. Organizations like Color of Change have pressured groups to stop funding ALEC, and NPR reports that major U.S. companies like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have recently dropped their ALEC memberships:
“Two of America’s best-known companies, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, have dropped their memberships in the American Legislative Exchange Council, a low-profile conservative organization behind the national proliferation of “stand your ground” gun laws.
ALEC promotes business-friendly legislation in state capitols and drafts model bills for state legislatures to adopt. They range from little-noticed pro-business bills to more controversial measures, including voter-identification laws and stand your ground laws based on the Florida statute. About two-dozen states now have such laws.
Florida’s stand your ground law has been cited in the slaying of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teen who was shot and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman on Feb. 26.”
In addition to stand your ground and voter ID laws, ALEC supports a number of disturbing initiatives, including prison privatization, anti-labor union bills, and Arizona-style immigration policies. Other major companies that fund ALEC include Walmart, Kraft Foods, AT&T, Johnson & Johnson, UPS, and ExxonMobil.
Let’s continue to put pressure on these organizations to divest from ALEC. Hopefully, they will follow in the footsteps of Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Co.