Washington, D.C. — Just one day after Senate Republicans blocked the For the People Act following the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s fierce lobbying campaign against the historic voting rights bill, the Chamber is hypocritically holding a “National Summit on Equality of Opportunity.” Accountable.US, the government watchdog behind the ‘Drop The Chamber’ campaign, urged summit participants to remind the U.S. Chamber’s leadership that ‘equality’ includes an equal opportunity for Americans to vote, regardless of the color of their skin. The event’s slate of speakers includes heads of several leading U.S. businesses that have expressed public support of voting rights in recent weeks amid a wave of anti-voter legislation sweeping statehouses across the country, an Accountable.US analysis found.
“Given the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s deep history of supporting voter suppression efforts, they clearly believe ‘equality’ is not a concept that should be applied to the ballot box. Companies that have the Chamber’s ear should make clear that ‘opportunity’ includes the opportunity to vote — a right that is actively being denied to those in communities of color by state legislators who propagate the Big Lie,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “The U.S. Chamber should be among the last organizations to lead a discussion on equality after it spent months pushing lawmakers to derail key legislation to protect voting rights for historically disenfranchised communities. Chamber member companies like Microsoft — which have told their shareholders, consumers, and employers that they support voting rights — should use this opportunity to voice their values and hold the Chamber accountable for its anti-democratic efforts.”
Accountable.US recently launched its “Drop the Chamber” campaign pressuring major corporations, including Microsoft, Target, and Salesforce, to back up their public statements supporting voting rights by severing their relationships with the U.S. Chamber over its well-documented history of supporting voting suppression and gerrymandering schemes. Accountable.US recently unveiled new TV and digital ads, including a national TV spot running this week on CNN, calling on these corporations to demonstrate their stated values.
Some corporations participating in the Chamber’s event include:
- Accenture — Despite its CEO highlighting its support of expanded voter access, U.S. Chamber member Accenture has donated at least $35,000 since the 2018 Election cycle to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which recently launched a “seven-figure ad campaign” attacking H.R. 1, the For The People Act.
- Altria — Although Tobacco giant and U.S. Chamber member Altria Group claims to support voter access – going as far as calling it a “foundational democratic process” and boasting of its work in supporting non-profit organizations in their voting initiatives – the company has donated over $3.2 million since the 2018 Election cycle to political committees opposed to the expansion of voter access.
- Microsoft — The president of Microsoft, also a U.S. Chamber member, criticized Georgia’s election integrity act for restricting voters from voting “legally, securely, and safely” and specifically noted its restrictions on voting drop boxes, absentee ballots, and provisional ballots as hurting voter access.
See additional participants and more background on these companies HERE.
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