VOICES OF ARIZONA: Americans Harmed by ALEC "Model Bills" Speak Out Against Undue Corporate Influence in the Democratic Process

FOR PLANNING PURPOSES

November 28, 2011

CONTACTS:   
Justin Greenberg
jgreenberg@pfaw.org / 202-467-2305
Mary Boyle                
mboyle@commoncause.org / 202-736-5716

Concerned citizens hold community forum and press conference to expose the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)’s stronghold on the Arizona Legislature

WHAT: Community Forum and Press Conference to expose ALEC’s influence in pushing legislation in Arizona and across the country aimed at enriching specific industries by privatizing schools and prisons, suppressing the vote, blocking implementation of healthcare reform, rolling back environmental regulations and attacking workers’ rights.

WHEN: Forum -- Tuesday, November 29, 6:00pm -- 9:00pm MST, South Mountain Community College (7050 S. 24th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85042)
Press Conference -- Wednesday, November 30, 11:00am MST, Arizona State House

DETAILS:

On Tuesday, November 29, state and national advocacy organizations will hold a forum and panel discussion to engage Arizona’s progressive community and push back on the far-reaching influence that ALEC has on Arizona’s political landscape and its citizens’ daily lives. A panel discussion will focus on ALEC’s undue political influence at the national and state level, with a focus on Arizona. Panelists include:

  • Doug Clopp, Common Cause (moderator)
  • Lisa Graves, Center for Media and Democracy
  • Marge Baker, People For the American Way Foundation
  • Erika Andiola, Promise Arizona
  • Hon. John Loredo, Consultant and former State Representative
  • Sheri Van Horsen, President, AFSCME Local 3111
  • Rebekah Friend, Executive Director, AZ AFL-CIO
  • Joe Thomas, Arizona Education Association

On Wednesday, November 30, community leaders will speak out at a press conference at the Arizona State House about the real human toll of ALEC’s influence in Arizona. The speakers will identify specific ALEC legislation that has directly impacted their families and communities. Hundreds of activists have been invited to the event, and individual Arizonans to groups such as Occupy Phoenix are mobilizing in support.  Speakers include:

  • Hon. John Loredo, Consultant and former State Representative (Master of Ceremonies)
  • Erika Andiola, Promise Arizona
  • Caroline Isaacs, American Friends Service Committee
  • Erin Kirchoff, Kyrene School District Teacher
  • Lilia Alvarez, Citizens for a Better Arizona
  • Rebekah Friend, Executive Director and Secretary-Treasurer, Arizona AFL-CIO
  • Cyndi Chacon, member of the Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 30
  • Frank Piccioli, President, AFCSME Local 2960
  • Todd Landfried, Arizona Employers for Immigration Reform

LIVE STREAM:  The press conference will be live-streamed for remote viewers.
  
People For the American Way Foundation and Common Cause will release a joint report, “ALEC in Arizona: The Voice of Corporate Special Interests in the Halls of Arizona’s Legislature,” which examines the extensive influence wielded by corporations, with the assistance of ALEC, in shaping Arizona’s laws through a side-by-side comparison of ALEC model legislation and actual bills submitted by ALEC-associated politicians.

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a vehicle through which global corporations and state politicians collaborate and vote behind closed doors to design legislation that benefits the huge corporations funding ALEC. These so-called "model bills" reach into almost every area of American life, and carry serious consequences for the American people by disenfranchising votersundermining environmental protections, scapegoating immigrants to profit from the private prison industry and defunding public education. ALEC Exposed, a project of the Center for Media and Democracy, has uncovered and analyzed approximately 800 ALEC “model” bills secretly voted on by corporations and politicians in an effort to reveal the undue influence that major corporations hold, with the help of ALEC, in our democracy. Learn more here.

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