Big corporations, like Walmart, are promoting violence in our communities through their support of “Stand your Ground” legislation across the country. As the largest retailer of guns and ammunition in the country, Walmart has a financial interest in gun sales, and as it turns out, was one of the leading supporters of these laws. You may be as disturbed as I was to learn that a Walmart executive co-chaired the task force of ALEC – the American Legislative Exchange Council - that endorsed the Stand Your Ground law.
Walmart’s support for ALEC and Stand your Ground is hurting our communities.
In my community, gun violence is a real problem. Recently, in my neighborhood, a young boy was killed in a shooting at the park and another time, stray bullets hit my house after a drive-by shooting nearby. I’m fearful of visiting my mother because the gun violence in her neighborhood is even worse.
My name is Samuel Maxwell. I live in Miami Gardens, Florida. I work at Walmart and a proud member of the Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart).
Working at Walmart, I see how the company puts profits ahead of people, and I worry that Walmart’s focus on selling guns and ammunition has blinded them to the real impact of Stand your Ground laws. That’s why I am asking you to add your voice to this petition and call for Walmart to join the growing list of companies who have withdrawn from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
I am also concerned that Walmart isn’t just a member in ALEC, but apparently helped to lead some of these initiatives. I also learned that the Walton Family Foundation is also a member of ALEC.
As someone who takes my right to vote very seriously, I’m also concerned about Walmart and ALEC’s role in supporting legislation that make it much harder for people to vote – particularly poor people, people of color and immigrants.
Compared to Walmart, or to the Waltons, the family that controls Walmart and the richest family in the nation, I don’t have a lot of money. After almost 2 years at Walmart, I make just $9.40/hour. But, I believe that, if we stand together, we can make our voices heard. We can tell Walmart that it is time to withdraw from ALEC and that it is time to take a public stand against laws like “Stand Your Ground” and voter ID laws. Together, I know we can do it. I hope you’ll join me.
We are writing today to urge Walmart and the Walton Family Foundation to withdraw from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and to publicly state your opposition to laws like “Stand Your Ground” and “voter id” laws which serve to disenfranchise voters – disproportionately the poor, elderly, and people of color.
As you know, already many companies including Coke, Pepsi, Kraft Foods, Proctor & Gamble and many others severed ties with ALEC. Now is the time for Walmart and the Walton Family Foundation to do the same.
As the largest seller of guns and ammunition in the United States, you have a particular responsibility to support public policies that support safer communities, not laws that encourage vigilantism and undermine law and order.
Corporations and the 1% can speak through campaign contributions, while the 99% speak through the ballot box. The unprecedented income inequality that exists in our country already gives corporations and the 1% a greater voice in our political system, and ALEC-sponsored Voter ID laws are designed to increase their power while diminishing ours. Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest retailer and the Walton family, the richest family in America,, have no business interfering with our right to vote.
In the wake of the purported cover-up by top executives of a massive bribery scheme in Mexico, Walmart needs to show us they are committed to responsible corporate citizenship. We urge Walmart and the Walton family to immediately and permanently sever ties with ALEC.