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June 12, 2012

ColorOfChange Applauds Johnson & Johnson's Decision to Cut Ties with ALEC

Move Follows Civil Rights Group's Ad Buy Targeting African Americans and Tying Company to ALEC

Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson announced on June 12 that it would no longer fund the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The announcement comes a week after ColorOfChange launched radio ads targeting African Americans in Chicago, DC, New Brunswick, NJ, and Sanford, FL and exposing the connection between Johnson & Johnson and the policy group, which has pushed legislation that hurts black communities such as voter suppression bills and so-called Stand your Ground laws.

The ads can be heard here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.colorofchange.org/images/ALEC-JJ-radio.mp3. A related op-ed by ColorOfChange Executive Director Rashad Robinson was published Monday, June 11, in Newark's Star-Ledger. More than 500 ColorOfChange members placed calls to Johnson & Johnson in the past two months, calling on the group to end its membership with ALEC. Members of allied organizations CREDO Action, People For the American Way and Progressive Change Campaign Committee also placed hundreds of calls to the company.

"As Americans learn more about ALEC's extreme agenda, companies understand that their brands suffer through association with a group that has weakened our democracy and made it harder to earn a living wage," said ColorOfChange Executive Director Rashad Robinson. "The ColorOfChange community commends Johnson & Johnson for acting in the best interest of consumers and cutting ties with this shadowy organization."

With today's announcement, the company becomes the 19th to announce it has dropped ALEC. Johnson & Johnson joins Wal-Mart, Amazon, Procter & Gamble, Yum! Brands, McDonald's, Wendy's, Mars Inc., Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Kraft Foods, Intuit, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Reed Elsevier (owner of LexisNexis and publisher of science and health information), Kaplan, Scantron, Medtronic, American Traffic Solutions and Arizona Public Service.

"We're continuing to reach out to corporations directly to tell them that now is the time to leave ALEC, and that our members are prepared to hold them publicly accountable if they refuse," Robinson said. "We applaud those companies that have stopped funding the group."

In December of last year, ColorOfChange members began signing a petition targeting ALECís corporate partners for their role in suppressing Black votes. The petition can be found here: http://www.colorofchange.org/campaign/alec/

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Travelers, with more than 800,000 members, ColorOfChange.org is the nation's largest online Black civil rights organization.





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