Georgia recently passed and signed into a law a bill that will make it harder to vote, specifically and disproportionately impacting Black communities, while also giving the State the ability to exert more influence over the administration of county elections and appointments of local county election officials. And as one of the largest corporations based in Georgia, Coca-Cola has been compelled to speak out against the racist and anti-democratic law.
But here’s the thing: Coca-Cola has funded the very politicians and special interest groups that supported and passed this law. Coca-Cola donated to Governor Brian Kemp who signed the bill into law, and it contributed to the state legislators who wrote and passed the law. And Coca-Cola has a long history of supporting special interest groups like the National Restaurant Association, American Beverage Association, and Consumer Brands Association who lobby for policies that enrich their corporate backers, often at the cost of public health and well-being.
This voting rights suppression law has shined a spotlight on how corporations corrupt and use our democratic institutions and politics for their own profit on the one hand, but on the other hand portray a shiny picture of supporting our democracy — all this right in time for Coca-Cola’s annual shareholders’ meeting, which is being held in Atlanta today.
That’s why we’re joining Feed the Truth and other partners to demand that Coca-Cola and other corporations stop underwriting voter suppression in all its forms, and get out of politics once and for all.
We have an ideal moment to put pressure on Coca-Cola right now, because today, the corporation is holding its annual shareholders’ meeting. This is a time when the media is paying particular attention to the corporation. And a time when we can bring our concerns and demands directly to the executives, board members, and shareholders of the corporation.
And we’ve teamed up with Feed the Truth to bring an organizer from the New Georgia Project Action Fund, a grassroots voting rights advocacy organization, to speak directly to Coca-Cola’s executives about the harmful bill the corporation had a hand in creating.