Progressive activists are calling on Ford, Target, Google, Bank of America and other major companies that have pledged to support voting rights to cut ties with the US Chamber of Commerce, CNN Business has learned.


Accountable.US, a progressive watchdog group, sent letters Wednesday to 25 companies that have a relationship with the Chamber of Commerce even though they signed last week’s statement in the New York Times vowing to oppose discriminatory voting legislation.

Letters were sent 17 companies that Accountable.US says are official Chamber of Commerce members, including Target, BlackRock (BLK), Citigroup, Google, Microsoft (MSFT), American Airlines (AAL), IBM (IBM) and Merck (MRK), whose CEO Ken Frazier has helped lead a campaign among Black executives to oppose restrictive voting legislation.

The campaign from activists underscores the enormous pressure companies are under to follow up their verbal support for voting rights with concrete action.

“By ignoring the Chamber’s opposition to a bill that protects an essential right in our democracy, these executives are violating their commitment and siding against the millions of Americans — including many of their own employees — fighting racist voter suppression tactics,” Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US, told CNN Business.

“By continuing to provide financial and social support to the Chamber, Target is contradicting the pledge you, and hundreds of other corporations, recently made,” Accountable.US wrote in a letter calling on Target (TGT) CEO Brian Cornell to renounce the company’s membership.

The group warned that supporting the Chamber of Commerce “poses a serious risk to Target’s reputation.”
A separate letter sent to Google CEO Sundar Pichai argued “silence on this matter is tantamount to an endorsement of the Chamber’s decision and shows where Google stands on protecting an individual’s right to vote.”

Accountable.US sent letters to another eight companies whose executives sit on the Chamber of Commerce’s board or have been featured on the Chamber’s foundation website.

“If they truly believe in protecting one of our most fundamental constitutional rights, they have no choice but to cut ties with the Chamber,” Herrig said.