Arkansas State Senator Jason Rapert (R-Conway) spouted off against marriage equality last week – and simultaneously demonstrated his ignorance of the U.S. Constitution. And it turns out that Walmart has contributed to Sen. Rapert’s re-election campaign
This week, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is holding its annual meeting in Chicago. Today, thousands gathered outside the meeting to show their opposition to ALEC’s right-wing “model legislation.” Some of those present chose to highlight the ongoing role of the Walmart 1% in ALEC.
Today, and every Monday for the past twelve weeks, the North Carolina NAACP, religious leaders, and community members have gathered at the North Carolina State Capitol to rally against what NAACP leader Rev. William Barber described as “extremists attacking Democracy.” Since the end of April, thousands have participated in these Moral Monday protests and rallies against unjust legislation coming out of the state legislature. So far, 926 people have participated in civil disobedience and been arrested. Walmart, on the other hand, has given over $60,000 to the Republican Party and Republican legislators pushing these laws.
Walmart and Walton Family Big Funders of NRA-Endorsed Candidates
This year, thousands of activists stood up to the Walmart 1% across the country. It was a busy year for the one percent—and for the rest of us. There was the news of alleged bribery and corruption in Mexico, Walmart leaving ALEC under pressure from the public (here’s hoping the Walton Family Foundation follows their lead next year), forced labor at Walmart suppliers, warehouse worker strikes, and a Black Friday to remember when Walmart associates went on strike over the company’s retaliation and attempts to silence those who spoke out for improvements on the job.
This week, contracted warehouse workers at warehouses that supply Walmart stores in California will complete a 50-mile, 6-day pilgrimage across Southern California. The pilgrimage is designed to bring increased attention to the poor working conditions for these workers. Chief among their concerns are the dangerous working conditions they face on a daily basis.
As civil rights leaders, we are writing to call on the Walton Family Foundation to follow in Walmart’s footsteps and end your ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). As you know, many other companies and organizations, including your own company Walmart, PepsiCo, Coca Cola, Kraft Food Inc., Blue Cross Blue Shield, Procter & Gamble, Amazon.com and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have already cut ties with or distanced themselves from ALEC and their positions.
Will The Walton Family Foundation Follow Suit?
In response to growing calls to sever ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Walmart announced today that they are leaving the controversial organization. This is a significant victory for the an array of community organizations and leaders, as well as Walmart Associates – members of the Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart) – who had been campaigning in recent weeks and months for Walmart to join the ranks of companies distancing themselves from ALEC.
Activist and author Bill Fletcher hits the nail on the head in his article on The Root (also published here) this week: It’s time for Walmart and the Walton Family Foundation to join the growing list of companies and foundations—like Coca-Cola, Kraft, Pepsi, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation—and cut ties with ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council.