Coca-Cola Company has elected to discontinue its membership with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)
“Our involvement with ALEC was focused on efforts to oppose discriminatory food and beverage taxes, not on issues that have no direct bearing on our business. We have a long-standing policy of only taking positions on issues that impact our company and industry.”
Trayvon Martin, 17, was killed on February 26 in Sanford, Florida, by George Zimmerman, 28, a white and Hispanic neighborhood watch volunteer who has claimed he acted in self defense and has not been charged with a crime.
At a rally in Sanford on Saturday, civil rights leaders said they were considering economic boycotts of national companies that support “Stand Your Ground” laws.
Coca-Cola and other ALEC member companies were targeted last year by the civil rights group ColorOfChange for their support of ALEC, which is also behind what ColorOfChange Executive Director Rashad Robinson calls “voter suppression laws” in many states. The laws require voters to show identification.
Since Martin’s killing, Robinson said ColorOfChange has let the corporations know that ALEC was behind a push for states to adopt legislation modeled after Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law.
Robinson declined to name which other companies the group is pursuing, saying their strategy is to give corporations a chance to withdraw from ALEC before escalating the issue publicly.
Story by By Barbara Liston and Martinne Geller