Defectors from ALEC are adding up - Wendy's, McDonald's and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are the latest backers to withdraw, following Coke, Pepsi, Intuit and Kraft.
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It's interesting to see that The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have been supporters - contributing over $375,000 the past two years. They withdrew after being targeted by an online petition that got 23,000 signatures in a matter of hours. The Foundation says their grant was specifically for education-related legislation.
The next targets are AT&T, State Farm and Johnson & Johnson.
For nearly 40 years, ALEC has written right wing legislation passed into law by states across the country, and now Progressives are building a similar infrastructure that supports lasting change.
Tired of playing defense in preventing these regressive laws, "People are now looking to do what the right has done so effectively - coordinating ideas, narratives, legislators and activists to really push in a progressive direction," NYC councilman and Progressive Caucus co-chair Brad Lander told Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of The Nation.
The budding network includes city leaders across the US, and key groups like Progressive States Network, New Bottom Line, PolicyLink, Center for American Progress, Working Families Party, Progressive Majority, and Center on Wisconsin Strategy.
The Elected Officials Alliance is coordinating state lawmakers across issue and organizational lines, with the goal of connecting state and local officials to policy organizations, like the Economic Analysis and Research Network.
Another counterforce to ALEC is ALICE, the American Legislative and Issue Campaign Exchange, started by Center on Wisconsin Strategy director Joel Rogers. ALICE will produce model laws for state and local legislators - just as ALEC does. The difference is it will support citizen-directed efforts like ballot initiatives, based on the values of equity, sustainability and responsible government.
This week's launch of the 99 Percent Spring, will train 100,000 people across the US in carring out non-violent direct action campaigns, led by a huge coalition of progressive organizations - from MoveOn.org to the UAW.
ALEC, your time has come.
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Sign a petition to get AT&T, State Farm and Johnson & Johnson to stop funding ALEC: