Issued April 12, 2021
PHOENIX, AZ — Today, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and Progress Arizona are demanding corporations with large footprints in Arizona — including CVS, Allstate, Farmers Insurance and Enterprise Holdings — publicly condemn racist anti-voter bills moving through the state legislature that put up barriers to voting, as well as halt political contributions to any lawmakers who vote for them. SEIU is moving across the country calling on corporations across different states that are supporting anti-voter bills. Corporations have contributed $50 million since 2015 to state legislators supporting voter suppression bills, including $22 million during the 2020 election cycle. The major labor union is launching a state-wide advertising campaign this week to demand Arizona corporations speak out against GOP lawmakers — who have backed racist anti-voter bills and received thousands of dollars in political contributions from these corporations. Since 2018, CVS, Allstate, Farmers Insurance and Enterprise Holdings have been among the top donors to the Arizona legislators sponsoring the anti-voter bills. Republican lawmakers in Arizona have introduced dozens of bills that would restrict voting access this year. Many of these bills would impose onerous new ID requirements on voting by mail, delete more than 250,000 people from the vote-by-mail list and add other barriers that deliberately target Black, Latinx, API and Indigineous communities.
Elizabeth Casillas, warehouse worker and member of SEIU Local 289T, released the following statement:
“Black, Latinx, API and Indigineous Arizonans showed up in 2020 to deliver the deciding votes to take back the White House, flip the Senate and win key races down the ballot. A handful of GOP politicians saw what we did, and as an act of retribution, they are trying to change the rules so it never happens again. To Arizona companies: you have a responsibility to speak out against these racist bills and stop backrolling any Arizona legislators who are pushing these bills forward. As your employees and customers face new obstacles at the ballot box, you simply cannot stay silent. These companies cannot say they have good corporate values and are committed to racial equity — as they publicly claimed last summer — but then not speak out against racist and malicious attempts to deny Black, Latinx, API and Indigenous communities their freedom to vote. We are asking you to protect the rights of all American voters by unequivocally condemning racist anti-voter bills moving through the Arizona state legislature and halting political contributions to any lawmakers who vote for them. We need to hear from you.”
SEIU will be launching additional ads in Arizona over the coming days. The union ran a state-wide advertising campaign last month demanding companies headquartered in Georgia speak out against similar bills that deny Americans’ freedom to vote and stop funding legislators who support them. Under pressure from activists and organizers, Delta and Coca-Cola condemned a sweeping voter suppression bill in Georgia only after Gov. Kemp signed it into law and have yet to forswear political contributions to legislators who supported it or similar legislation. The proposed voting restrictions in Arizona come after President Joe Biden won the state by approximately 10,000 votes and Democratic Senator Mark Kelly flipped his seat, triggering an onslaught of attacks from Former President Trump, his allies and local Republicans.
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) unites 2 million diverse members in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. SEIU members working in the healthcare industry, in the public sector and in property services believe in the power of joining together on the job to win higher wages and benefits and to create better communities while fighting for a more just society and an economy that works for all of us, not just corporations and the wealthy. www.seiu.org