AT&T Must Stop Supporting Racist Voter Suppression Bills
by Katie Myer
May 19, 2022
AT&T has a demonstrated history of hypocrisy on issues of voting rights and racial justice, and we are not letting them get away with it.
© Tim Aubry / Greenpeace
Today is the AT&T annual general shareholder meeting, where they want to keep the focus on financial performance and returns—performance that comes at the expense of both people and planet. AT&T has a demonstrated history of hypocrisy on issues of voting rights and racial justice, and we are not letting them get away with it.
Progressive organizations are banding together to hold peaceful protests across the country, condemning AT&T for funneling money to state legislators pushing racist voter suppression measures. The marches follow protests held during the AT&T-sponsored Byron Nelson Golf Tournament on May 9 and 15, after a May 5 panel of activists highlighted AT&T’s role as one of the top contributors to state legislators pushing anti-protest laws.
Greenpeace USA is proud to join in solidarity with Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the New Georgia Project, Next Generation Action Network, and other Black-led groups and union activists to ensure the voices of the people—not the powerful—are heard loud and clear.
Why are we targeting AT&T?
A healthy democracy is a precondition for a healthy environment. When everyone’s vote counts and when everyone’s constitutionally-guaranteed right to peacefully protest is protected, our government becomes more accountable and capable of meeting the demand for racial justice and enacting solutions to the rapidly accelerating climate crisis.
Since June 6 2020, when half a million people across the country came out in support of Black Lives, hundreds of companies have made halfhearted attempts to appear socially conscious by releasing statements in support of voting rights and the Movement for Black Lives. They want to publicly pretend to embody the progressive values of their customer base, in hopes that no one will bother taking an inventory of their actions.
Behind closed doors, companies like AT&T are funneling millions of dollars to extremist legislators pushing anti-voting and anti-protest bills—and AT&T is one of the worst of the bunch.
Our Greenpeace USA Report, Dollars vs Democracy, shows that:
- AT&T was identified as the top contributor to state legislators sponsoring anti-protest bills.
- AT&T was one of the first companies to break their commitment to stop contributions to members of Congress who voted against certifying the 2020 election.
- AT&T contributed $100,000 to Gov Abbot’s PAC the same day he called a special session to pass the most draconian voter suppression bill in the country
Our Demands for AT&T
AT&T is trying to disconnect us from democracy by contributing money to politicians who voted for—or even sponsored—anti-voter and anti-protest bills. On May 19, the day of AT&Ts most important meeting of the year, we’re joining progressives all over the country to demand that AT&T:
- Stop giving money to radical right-wing insurrectionists
- Start publicly voicing support for overturning anti-voter laws that make it harder for eligible voters to register or participate in elections.
- Publicly pledge to stop contributing to state legislators who sponsor anti-protest bills.
How You Can Help
We need your support to show AT&T that no one is fooled by their hypocritical PR stunts. We will not allow them to say one thing in public, while privately funneling money to draconian racist laws intended to subvert democracy.