Voting advocate Nsé Ufot has been fighting for a week like this for a year.
She said that for months, more than six activist groups, including her own New Georgia project, have been urging business interests to condemn Republican-led efforts to restrict voting rights in Georgia. Billboards mocking company slogans are increasing throughout the state, urging action. In early March, the advocates held a projected campaign on the side of the hotel to participate in the NBA All-Star Weekend.
Both companies issued cautious statements, as well as what Ufot referred to as “hurrying up” and “shrugging.”
Ufort said: “People were very clear on January 6 that it was an attack on our democracy.” “If you understand that the attack on the electoral college voting is unpatriotic and anti-democratic, then you need to continue along this line. It’s a logical path to go until it gets more than 360 bills in 47 states that are trying to make it more difficult for Americans to vote.”
Large companies are involved in election policy debates, which experts call unusual. At a time when Republicans across the country are pushing for hundreds of restrictions, voting rights advocates and civil rights organizations believe that this change will have a disproportionate impact on people of color. . According to the Nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, as of March 24, legislators had introduced 361 restrictive election bills in 47 legislatures. This figure is an increase of 108% and 43% from the last statistics of the center on February 19.
Republican lawmakers said these bills are necessary to increase public confidence in the results of the election, even though they have doubts about the results of the 2020 election. From everyone’s perspective, despite the repeated and false statements of former President Donald Trump, the 2020 election is safe and the results are accurate. His Attorney General, William Barr, said there was no evidence of widespread fraud among voters, and the then president’s legal efforts to overturn the results of the election failed in courts across the country.
Proponents say that in the final year of speeches-especially on civil rights and the pandemic-the company was also involved in this issue.
Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, vice president for development at the Brennan Judicial Center at New York University School of Law, said: “This week is indeed a week for American companies to regress.” Tasks on everything they say in 2020.”
Weiss-Wolf worked with the company in fundraising work for non-partisan organizations, but last year she said that she also began to help the company find the voice of citizens. In 2020, hundreds of companies promised to give employees time to vote or take time off to serve as pollsters. In a racial calculation inspired by the black and white George Floyd (George Floyd), the black died in May last year after kneeling on the neck of a white police officer for eight minutes. Many people issued statements emphasizing their support for civil rights. And is committed to anti-racism actions.
On January 6, after Trump’s election lies fueled the attack on the Capitol by pro-Trump mobs, dozens of companies suspended their political action committee donations. Some said they would not challenge Republicans who challenged the election results. Donate.
The Civic Alliance, a non-partisan organization that encourages citizens to participate in businesses, issued a letter on Friday condemning any efforts to restrict ballot access. Nearly 200 companies including Salesforce, ViacomCBS and The Estée Lauder Companies signed the agreement.
Mike Ward, the co-founder of Citizens League, said: “The company will keep up with the development of consumers and employees. This is people’s priority, so the company is making it its own priority.”
He said that a letter from black business leaders was advertised in the New York Times on Wednesday and was signed by more than 70 black business executives. The letter asked his organization to take action.
He told NBC News: “That’s the time, yes, it’s a priority, and we will publish something as soon as possible.” “It has gone from taking several days to taking hours.”
Lisa Cylar Barrett, director of NAACP’s legal defense and education foundation policy, said the letter was “a really critical turning point.”
She said that the trick now is to stay in the game.
She told NBC News: “It is very important for them to continue to participate, so this can’t just make a statement and disappear.” “We must completely solve this problem.”
Ufort said she was encouraged by this motivation, but it was not enough. Georgia law is still in the book.
She said: “We don’t think we have won yet.” “Symbols are important, but in what way does this stop us from going to jail for lining up to distribute bottled water to voters?”
Republicans have responded forcefully to the company’s newfound outspokenness. In Georgia, the State Capitol immediately began to abolish the tax credit granted to Delta by the legislature.
“You don’t feed a dog and bite your hand. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Republican Georgia House Speaker David Ralston said: “This must be remembered sometimes. (This effort was killed in the Senate.)
Elsewhere, Republicans criticized their election policy as the latest issue in the so-called culture war.
Republican Governor Brian Kemp said in a statement on Friday: “Cancel culture and awaken political activists in all aspects of your life, including sports.” Last Friday, Major League Baseball announced that it would The All-Star Game moved out of Atlanta in protest. State Law.
The Republican Governor of Texas, Dat Patrick, tried to link it to the ongoing legislative struggle against transgender students participating in sports across the country and in Texas.
He said in a statement: “Texans are tired of companies that don’t share the values we try to guide public policy.”
Harvard Kennedy School professor Alex Keyssar is the author of “Voting Rights: A History of Controversial Democracy in America”. He said that he saw the company mobilize LGBTQ rights, but never revolved around voting rights. mobilization.
“What makes things complicated is that in this case, it’s not just a problem. This is because these laws have been proved to be facts in the name of’big lies’, so this is a denial of today’s Republican Party.” Said, referring to how Democrats described Trump’s stolen election lies.
The American Civil Liberties Union’s voting rights project leader, He Dali, said the move heralds even greater changes.
“This is both a good sign and a bad sign. It is a good sign because voting rights are gaining visibility. This is a long-term problem I think I deserve. Then, a few years ago, when I was working in this field At times, I can’t people think about it.” He said in an interview on Friday. “All of this is true. This is a bad signal because it means that voting rights are very important in the cultural war.”
At the same time, the historian Michael Beschloss said that the political turmoil this week fits the history of American civil rights, and pointed to Martin Luther King Jr.’s 4 years ago 53 years ago. The final speech delivered on March 3rd.
In his oath, King vowed to use boycotts and corporate power to fight for justice, targeting companies such as Coca-Cola and Wonder Bread, and arguing that these companies need to participate in ongoing union strikes.
“I don’t see anyone who would say that this is radical or not in line with American traditions,” Bethlos said of the company’s call to avoid voting. “This tool is an old tool in American history.”