Next week, corporate lobbyists, right-wing millionaires and a host of one-percenters will descend upon San Diego for American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) annual meeting, a national gathering in which these special interests wine and dine conservative lawmakers and plot strategies to screw working people out of things like a decent wage, health care and retirement security.
For those not familiar with ALEC, just think about the intersection between corporate power and state politics. Every year, ALEC models state legislation that strips workers of their right to stand together in a union, reduces wages, plunders the environment and attacks immigrant families, among other things. ALEC is funded by a who’s who of corporate interest groups including the Koch Brothers, Big Oil, Big Tobacco and health insurance companies. Their sole purpose is to move cookie-cutter legislation from state to state that serves these powerful corporations at the expense of everyday working folks. And in many states, ALEC is king, boasting dozens of legislators who are card-carrying members, worshiping at the altar of corporate power and right-wing extremism.
This year’s gathering in San Diego is headlined by none other than the biggest corporate lackey of them all, GOP presidential hopeful Scott Walker, who openly boasts about his exploits to attack hard-working women and men in his state. Walker is the personification of everything that ALEC stands for. He recently called the minimum wage “lame.” He stripped workers of collective bargaining rights. He’s reduced wages while showering his corporate buddies with millions in tax giveaways.
For four days beginning on July 22, ALEC will host state legislators from around the country with all-expense paid vacation, free food and drinks and an audience with some of the most powerful corporate interests in America.
While the weather in San Diego this time of year is lovely, ALEC is going to be in for a rude awakening when they hit California soil. You see, we don’t do things the ALEC way here in the Golden State. In fact, we strive to be the opposite of what these powerful lobbyists stand for. While ALEC is anti-immigrant, we believe every family has a right to work hard in pursuit the American Dream. While ALEC is anti-union, we reject attacks on working people who are simply standing together to improve their lives. While ALEC cuts wages, we’re focused on improving pay with some of the highest minimum wages in the nation. While ALEC denies climate change exists, we are the national leader in combatting the very real and potentially disastrous effects of environmental degradation.
So workers, environmental activists, community groups and many others are coming to San Diego to send ALEC a very simple message: California is a NO ALEC Zone! If you’re in or around San Diego on July 22, join us for a massive protest. If you can’t make it down, take part in our online action. Together, we’re going to make it clear to Walker and all his corporate cronies that ALEC is not welcome in California. Not now, not ever!
See you in San Diego!