Apr 30, 2012

ALEC, Walmart, and Our Communities

Big corporations, like Walmart, are promoting violence in our communities through their support of “Stand your Ground” legislation across the country. As the largest retailer of guns and ammunition in the country, Walmart has a financial interest in gun sales, and as it turns out, was one of the leading supporters of these laws. The fact is, a Walmart executive co-chaired the task force of ALEC – the American Legislative Exchange Council - that endorsed the Stand Your Ground law.

Here's a little background on ALEC:
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a conservative nonprofit that mixes together corporations and legislators. It sounds simple, but ALEC isn’t just a backyard tree house club. Its membership includes an influential list of about 200 corporations and nearly 2,000 state legislators across the country. 1 in 5 ALEC influenced bills become law. ALEC is an expert at creating one-size-fits all legislation and then making it law all across the country. 
The major advantage of ALEC is its ability to mobilize and influence its lawmaker members, a vast majority of which are Republican. If a bill pops up in a state house that puts corporate members at a disadvantage, ALEC, having direct access to its legislative membership, can rework the legislation into more favorable language.  
ALEC supports and creates extreme pieces of legislation with no interest in mind other than that of corporations. It’s a direct threat to our democratic process. It gives the rich preferential access to influence government while everyone else suffers the consequences. Giving corporations paid access to state representatives, just because they can afford it, and then allowing those corporations to craft self-interested legislation has had harmful effects for communities everywhere 
Middle class families have also suffered from ALEC’s influence. This is the organization that has attempted to marginalize the rights of workers nationwide by promoting legislation that strips collective bargaining rights, creates right to work states, and implements paycheck deception. State representatives aren’t supposed to be working for these corporations. They’re supposed to work for the people that elected them and focus on improving the districts they live in.

Walmart’s support for ALEC and Stand your Ground is hurting our communities, and Walmart associates are coming forward to speak out and try to get Walmart to withdraw from ALEC and take a public stand against laws like “Stand Your Ground” and voter ID laws. Join Walmart associate and Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart) member Samuel Maxwell in his quest to make his company better by signing his Change.org petition today.

Then be sure to tell your legislators to end their affiliation with ALEC!

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