AT&T Oppose Voter Suppression Now!

AT&T CEO, John T. Stankey

Right now, voter suppression bills are sweeping the nation. In states across CWA District 6, legislation has been introduced to curb voter registration and access. And corporations, specifically AT&T, are failing to come out against these bills. Instead, AT&T has spent over $800,000 since 2015 to elect politicians who support voter suppression legislation.

Voter suppression bills have historically targeted voters of color and these latest bills are no exception. Given that 44.8% of AT&T employees are people of color, we're calling on AT&T to oppose voter suppression and to support HR 1 the For the People Act, and the John Lewis Voting Rights Enhancement Act, bills that seek to expand voting rights for all Americans.

To: AT&T CEO, John T. Stankey
From: [Your Name]

On April 1st, you publicly made the following statement when asked about AT&T’s position on voter suppression bills filed in several states across the country, that specifically attempt to either eliminate, discourage or flat out make it a criminal offense in some cases on how people vote:

“We believe the right to vote is sacred and we support voting laws that make it easier for more Americans to win free, fair, and secure elections.

We understand that election laws are complicated, not our company’s expertise, and ultimately the responsibility of elected officials. But as a company, we have a responsibility to engage. For this reason, we are working together with other businesses through groups like the Business Roundtable to support efforts to enhance every person’s ability to vote. In this way, the right knowledge and expertise can be applied to make a difference on this fundamental and critical issue.”

Elections laws aren't complicated, Mr. Stanky, they’re simple! Either you believe all US citizens should have the right to vote, or not.

44.8% of AT&T employees are people of color (based on AT&T 2020 diversity and inclusion report). Historically laws like the ones introduced in Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma are intentionally filed to discourage people of color from voting.

Even as you and your counterparts on the Business Roundtable released statements earlier this year denouncing systemic racism, your failure to denounce these attempts at voter suppression only perpetuates the racism you claim to be against. Instead, AT&T has given over $800,000 to elected officials that support voter suppression bills.

Mr. Stanky, AT&T employees, and consumers demand you take a strong and moral stance against any bill that discourages, limits, or criminalizes people of color - 44.8% of your employees - for exercising their sacred and democratic right to vote.

AT&T has a long tradition of championing diversity. Your statement - ambiguous at best - demonstrates a departure from that tradition. At worst, it gives a wink and nod to those who seek to suppress the votes and voices of AT&T’s 44.8% of employees of color.

First, we call on AT&T to make it clear that voter suppression of any kind should be opposed, and that any law that seeks to limit voting rights will find fierce opposition in AT&T.

Second, we demand that AT&T immediately commit its support and lobbying resources to aid in the passing of the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Enhancement Act- bills that are currently in front of Congress that seeks to expand voting rights for all Americans.

We look forward to your swift action to correct the harm you’ve done to your employees and our broader communities.