, EJ Editor, Washington, DC
This week, progressives everywhere are celebrating a recent victory against the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). They have dropped support for the “stand your ground law” made famous by the case of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, as well as support for similar laws all over the nation. ALEC is a collaborative organization of conservative politicians, lobbyists, and corporations. This organization formats and introduces bills regarding anything from gun laws and prison regulations to education and voter identification laws. There is certainly nothing wrong with a group collectively working to make change in country. That is the beauty of democracy.
However, the most positive change comes from those who seek to create a better quality of life for everyone. This is not something that ALEC seeks. ALEC is supported by major corporations; these corporations want government regulations (or lack thereof) that allow them to maintain and increase their profits. Essentially, ALEC serves as a legislative cheerleader for various corporations, putting their “issues” at the forefront of congressional discussion. Money talks; it’s difficult for communities and individuals who suffer at the hands of these corporations to present their case as effectively as the extremely wealthy ALEC and its multibillion dollar backers. In short, while they say that they're motivated by preserving American freedoms, their actions limit the freedoms for certain groups of people, which is not at all democratic. This brings me to this organization's involvement in attacks against any legislation that supports protection of the environment and protection of health from toxins.
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