AT&T Supports Right-Wing Causes. Here are 10 Reasons to Drop Them Right Now

For years, AT&T has cozied up to Republican lawmakers, curried favor with Donald Trump and his administration, and donated millions to right-wing politicians and causes. And now it seems AT&T still can’t keep their hands out of the Republican cookie jar.

New reporting from Judd Legum at Popular Information found that while AT&T publicly claims it supports Black Lives Matter, the company has quietly funded the campaign of Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, who adamantly opposes the Black Lives Matter movement, calling it violent, destructive and anti-Semitic. It probably also goes without saying that Loeffler is staunchly pro-life, pro-gun and anti-LGBTQ, but that didn’t seem to deter AT&T’s donation to her campaign.

It’s not surprising that AT&T would jump on the public relations bandwagon to boost its image during nationwide protests for Black lives, while continuing to privately support Republican politicians who oppose racial justice.

Here are 9 other reasons you should drop AT&T if you don’t want your mobile bill supporting right-wing causes.

AT&T supports the campaign of Ted Yoho, who called AOC a “f*cking b*tch”

Last month, Republican Rep. Ted Yoho accosted progressive Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, calling her disgusting and a “f*cking b*itch” while wagging his finger and denigrating her in public, first reported by The Hill newspaper, then additionally by CNN

AT&T has donated $20,000 to Ted Yoho’s campaign.

While Yoho offered a non-apology, ridiculously claiming “I cannot apologize for my passion,” AOC countered with an incredible speech on the House floor, condemning Yoho and the pervasive sexism women are forced to endure. You can watch it here:

AT&T donated $2 million to Donald Trump’s inaugural committee

Donald Trump’s 2017 inaugural committee raised a lot of money. A record-setting $107 million, in fact. The more than $2 million that AT&T funnelled to Trump stood above the pack: AT&T was the largest corporate donor to the inauguration, and second only to notorious right-wing funder Sheldon Adelson. 

In late 2018, it was reported that federal prosecutors were investigating the sources of Trump’s inauguration slush fund to determine if any donors illegally “[gave] money in exchange for political favors.” At the time, AT&T had been seeking approval for a $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner. 

AT&T donated $2.7 million to 193 anti-LGBTQ politicians

AT&T can rainbow-stripe its logo for Pride Month, wave the rainbow flag and claim it supports the LGBTQ community, but none of those things can make up for the fact that AT&T is directly funding politicians who are fighting against equality and LGBTQ rights.

While AT&T has long touted its inclusive employee policies and support of LGBTQ causes, in 2017 and 2018, AT&T donated a total of $2.755 million to 193 anti-LGBTQ politicians

AT&T is making millions from Trump’s racist deportation agenda

As Donald Trump ramps up his attacks on immigrant communities, corporate America is cashing in. Well-known consumer brands are profiting from lucrative contracts with Customs and Border Protection, the agency dehumanizing immigrants, jailing children in cages without basic needs and tearing families apart.

AT&T made more than $1.8 million from CBP’s deportation agenda, including $1.3 million since Donald Trump took office.

AT&T fired workers after raking in billions from Trump’s tax scam

In 2017, AT&T promised it would invest $1 billion in telecom infrastructure and create “7,000 good jobs for the middle class” if Congress passed Trump’s tax scam and slashed tax rates for corporate America. 

Instead, AT&T laid off 23,000 workers, cut capital spending and pocketed $3 billion in a massive tax windfall. Their CEO even took home $29 million in total compensation as his employees received pink slips.

AT&T helped re-elect white supremacist Congressman Steve King

Congressman Steve King is a racist and white supremacist. He publicly courts favor with right-wing extremists, believes immigrants are “undermining our culture” and keeps a confederate flag on his desk.

Yet, AT&T has been one of Steve King’s largest corporate donors. Over his long, racist career, King received more than $60,000 from AT&T, including $10,000 – the legal maximum limit – for his 2018 re-election campaign.

AT&T donated nearly $200,000 to anti-abortion politicians

According to the company’s career website, AT&T claims that it wants to “make sure women at AT&T feel supported in everything they do.” 

Yet, as right-wing lawmakers across the country continue to enact some of the most restrictive laws on reproductive rights, AT&T has donated almost $200,000 to politicians in states leading the fight to ban abortions and restrict women’s rights.

AT&T paid Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s fixer, $600,000

In 2017 and 2018, AT&T paid $600,000 to Trump’s convicted lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen to “advise” on various matters in the telecommunications industry – even though Cohen is not an expert in the field. 

The timing of the payments to Cohen through a shady shell corporation raises serious questions about AT&T’s intentions to influence the Trump administration. Not only was AT&T’s proposed mega-merger with Time Warner pending before the Department of Justice, but AT&T also made payments to Cohen just as Trump’s hand-picked FCC chairman Ajit Pai pushed through the repeal of net neutrality regulations despite massive public outcry.

AT&T is one of the NSA’s “most trusted partners”

We’ve known for a while that AT&T was working hand-in-hand with the NSA to spy on Americans’ internet traffic. But an investigative report by the Intercept revealed eight cities where AT&T hosts “wiretap rooms” for the NSA to skim data as it passes through their networking equipment.

The Intercept report confirms what we already knew: the NSA “considers AT&T to be one of its most trusted partners and has lauded the company’s ‘extreme willingness to help.’”

Unlike AT&T, we will never compromise our progressive values for profit. We will never align ourselves with right-wing hate. We will never fund white supremacy. We’re not spending millions to influence Republican lawmakers or making massive donations to Donald Trump.

In contrast, we’re helping to fund the progressive movement through our philanthropy powered by our members who use our products and services every day. We donate nearly $2 million each year to groups like Color of Change, the ACLU, Doctors without Borders and 350.org who are fighting for Black lives and civil rights, peace, climate justice and more.

If you’re not already a CREDO member and would like to switch to the mobile company that shares your values and donates $150,000 to progressive groups every month, please check out CREDO Mobile here.

 

Four things you can do to support Black Voters everywhere

Black Voters Matter works to increase power in our communities because effective voting allows a community to determine its own destiny. We are working tirelessly to increase voter registration and turnout and advocate for policies to expand voting rights/access, including expanded early voting, resisting voter ID, re-entry restoration of rights and strengthening the Voting Rights Act.

During this unprecedented time, we as Americans are all responsible for ensuring that Black Voters everywhere exercise power in their communities. BVM has listed a few ways below you can support Black Voters:

Make sure you’re registered to vote

 If you are not registered to vote, please do so immediately. You can register online for your individual state here.

Also, make sure to confirm you are still registered. Many states, cites, and counties have purged voter rolls in attempt to suppress your vote. You can verify if your registration is still valid here.

Learn your state’s procedures for Absentee Ballots and Mail in Voting

Be prepared to exercise your right to vote and limit your exposure to COVID during this election season. You can go to https://www.usa.gov/absentee-voting to learn the rules for your individual state.

Respond to the 2020 Census now

The census deadline has been extended, and you can still complete the 2020 census online, by phone, or by mail. It is now more imperative than ever to make sure that every citizen is counted, as the resources allocated by the Census count can be distributed to the lower income communities that will be disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and by police reform. You can go to the US Census website to find out more on how to complete it.

Volunteer

Now more than ever, we need your help in this fight to ensure that Black Voters Matter everywhere. Sign up to be BVM texter, and you can help us send out text messages to encourage people to participate in elections. You can also volunteer helping our partner organizations register people to vote, and other volunteer activities depending on your state and where you live.

BVM is committed to ensuring that our goal of increasing power in marginalized, predominantly Black communities carries on, despite the health crisis and voter suppression we are all facing. We know that collectively we can all get through this together! If you would like to learn more about our updated efforts, please visit https://blackvotersmatterfund.org/. Thank you for your support of Black Voters Matter!

Our July grantees thank you for your support

Each month, CREDO members vote on how we distribute funding to three incredible nonprofits. Those small actions add up – with one click, you can help fund groups working to end hunger, to help survivors of domestic violence, and to fight for climate justice. In July, over 30,000 CREDO members voted to distribute $150,000 in donations to Feeding America, the National Domestic Violence Hotline and Sunrise Movement.

These donations are made possible by CREDO customers and the revenue they generate by using our services. The distribution depends entirely on the votes of CREDO members like you. And for that, our July grant recipients thank you.


Feeding America
$51,620

“Hunger is an issue that impacts every community in our country. We are tremendously grateful to CREDO and its members for their support and for helping to fight hunger during a time of increased need. ” – Daniel Nisbet, Vice President of Development, Feeding America

To learn more, visit www.feedingamerica.org.

 

National Domestic Violence Hotline
$47,193

“Thank you for your incredible support! CREDO members like you help make it possible for The Hotline to fulfill our mission and provide crisis intervention, prevention and education free of charge 24/7 to people throughout the US and its territories.” – Katie Ray-Jones, CEO, National Domestic Violence Hotline

To learn more, visit https://www.thehotline.org/.

 

Sunrise Movement
$51,187

“Thank you for your support of our movement to win the Green New Deal. It’s because of you that in less than three years, our movement has grown to more ten thousand volunteers in 350 local hubs in all fifty states plus DC and Puerto Rico.” – Varshini Prakash, Executive Director, Sunrise Movement

To learn more, visit sunrisemovement.org/donate.

Now check out the three groups we are funding in August, and cast your vote to help distribute our donations.

CREDO members who use our products are the reason why we are able to make these donations each month. Learn more about CREDO Mobile, the carrier with a conscience.

Don’t fall for AT&T’s shady upgrade tactics

Last week, AT&T sent out an email to its customers with a pretty scary headline: “UPDATE NEEDED.” 

The email went on to explain that the customer’s phone “is not compatible with the new network and you need to replace it to continue receiving service,” and rather conveniently included a way to purchase a new phone online.

Here’s the problem: The email was completely misleading. According to recent reports, AT&T won’t make the network switch until February 2022 — almost two full years from now. Yet, AT&T insinuated that its customers — some who purchased a phone just last year — needed to upgrade immediately lest they lose service.

To say we’re disappointed is an understatement. As a mobile provider that was founded on doing good, we pride ourselves on treating our customers with respect, by providing top notch products, protecting customer privacy, a mission of philanthropy to progressive causes, and great service on the nation’s best network.

Honestly, we’re not surprised by AT&T’s shady tactics. The company has a long history of corporate greed and supporting Republican politicians and right-wing interests. They’ve donated millions to Donald Trump and anti-LGBTQ candidates and have worked hand-in-hand to help the NSA spy on Americans’ internet traffic. Here are 8 reasons to drop AT&T right now.

We’re here to tell you that we’ll never resort to shady and misleading sales tactics — or supporting right-wing causes. Our customers choose us because they trust us as a company and because we share their values. We donate nearly $2 million each year to progressive causes fighting for civil rights, reproductive freedom, climate justice and more — and every month, we include our members in the donations process to help us decide how to distribute our funding. We don’t know any other mobile carrier that can say that.

If you’re still with AT&T (or any other carrier for that matter), consider making the switch to CREDO. You can bring your own device with you and choose between Visa Prepaid Card rewards or data savings each month, it’s up to you! Just give our friendly advocates a call at 1-866-996-4341. If you’re already a CREDO customer, help your friends ditch AT&T and join CREDO, and get a $100 bill credit on us for each friend you refer that joins!

Six great books to add to your summer reading list

If you’re like us, you’re spending a lot more time at home this summer. While that’s been a drag on our summer barbecues, trips to the beach and vacation plans, it does mean we have more time to catch up on some great books we’ve missed.

We reached out to a few of our grantee partners to help us compile a great summer reading list just for our members. Here are six great book recommendations ranging from topics like women’s rights, voting rights, climate change, economic justice and more from Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Sunrise Movement, Women’s March, Economic Policy Institute and Free Speech for People.

Fumbling Toward Repair: A Workbook for Community Accountability Facilitators

by Mariame Kaba and Shira Hassan 

Recommended by Nana Gyamfi, Executive Director, Black Alliance for Just Immigration:

“Building a world without cops and cages is going to require more than desire and vision – it’s going to require us to learn new ways of understanding and addressing interpersonal and community harm that are accessible to the people most impacted by violence in our society. This workbook lights and guides the way for those of us working for abolition in our lifetime.”

Assata: An Autobiography 

by Assata Shakur

Recommended by Tabitha St. Bernard-Jacobs, Director of Community Engagement, Women’s March:

“Assata’s story is one of injustice and pain but also one of inner liberation, of love and of laying it all on the line for the pursuit of that dream of liberation. It lays bare the failings of systems designed to marginalize and harm Black people and how community is sometimes all we have.”

Jane Eyre 

by Charlotte Bronte

Recommended by Thea M. Lee, President, Economic Policy Institute:

“I decided to go with Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte, as it is a book I have loved and reread many times. As a young girl reading Jane Eyre, I was struck by the central character’s fierce independence, integrity and assertion of her humanity and inherent rights – despite her poverty, orphanhood, and lack of conventional beauty.”

Winning the Green New Deal: Why We Must, How We Can

By Varshini Prakash and Guido Girgenti

Recommended by Varshini Prakash, Executive Director, Sunrise Movement:

From the publisher: “An urgent and definitive collection of essays from leaders and experts championing the Green New Deal—and a detailed playbook for how we can win it—including contributions by leading activists and progressive writers like Varshini Prakash, Rhiana Gunn-Wright, Bill McKibben, Rev William Barber II, and more.”

The Undocumented Americans 

by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

Recommended by John C. Bonifaz, President, Free Speech For People

“The march for justice, equality, and human dignity for all must include undocumented Americans.  In this powerful book, Karla Cornejo Villavicencio gives voice to what it means to be undocumented in America today.  And, she challenges us all to see the undocumented for who they are: human beings, whose stories, whose hopes and whose dreams must be heard.” 

Life on the Ground Floor: Letters from the Edge of Emergency Medicine

By James Maskalyk, MD. 

Recommended by Avril Benoît, Executive Director of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières in the United States (MSF-USA):

“From the inside of an ER, this MD and writer who first came to my attention because he was a gifted blogger while on assignment with Doctors Without Borders, takes us on a journey into the viscera of bodies and souls under stress. If medical textbooks were written with such literary skill, we’d all want to be doctors.”

Sunrise Movement pressures the media to cover climate change (thanks in part to CREDO members!)

Last year, thanks to the support from tens of thousands of CREDO members voting to donate to Sunrise Movement, our country experienced a sea change in how the news reports on the climate crisis.

In all of 2019, the mainstream media spent 4 hours total covering climate change, despite historic floods and fires. That changed after Sunrise launched our #Climate Debate campaign, calling for the Democratic candidates for president to spend significant time discussing their solutions to the crisis. Our movement led a 3 day sit-in of dozens of young people blockading the DNC headquarters calling for an end to this media blackout.

Our actions resulted in multiple climate panels and forums on cable news devoted to climate action and the presidential primary. The highest profile of these, CNN’s Climate Crisis Town Hall, resulted in 7 hours of sustained coverage of climate change in the news. We couldn’t have done it without CREDO’s help.

While we started out in 2017 with a dozen members, Sunrise Movement has grown into one of the largest youth-led organizations in the country, with more than 350 volunteer-driven hubs in all fifty states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico. We lead the struggle to make climate change an urgent political priority across America, end the corrupting influence of fossil fuel executives on our politics, and elect leaders who stand up for the health and wellbeing of all people. Sunrise fights for good jobs and a livable future through bold, equitable, federal climate action in the form of the Green New Deal.

We now face a pivotal moment in our country’s history. The 2020 elections will have global ramifications, representing our last best chance to prevent irreversible damage to our homes by finally introducing comprehensive legislation to halt the climate crisis while building a more just and equitable society. Thanks in part to our movement, Joe Biden recently announced a major shift in his climate platform, adopting the just frameworks that we’ve been fighting for. We pushed him to embrace a more aggressive timeline for a 100% clean electricity transition, now at 2035 instead of 2050. That’s the power of our movement. But we know we can’t stop now.

We need your help. To support Green New Deal champions across the country, our movement has made over 1.6 million calls across the country in just a few months, driving progressive candidates to victory in both red and blue districts. Ahead of the November general election, we are continuing this push to ensure that the Green New Deal becomes flagship policy. Learn more about the fight and sign up to join us here: https://www.sunrisemovement.org/join.

Be sure to check out this month’s grantees and consider casting your vote for Sunrise here: https://www.credodonations.com/

CREDO Tip: How to record a police traffic stop on your phone

Getting pulled over by the police is stressful. It’s even more stressful if you’re Black, Brown, another person of color or an immigrant. A recent study of nearly 100 million traffic stops found that Black people are 20 percent  more likely to get pulled over. In California, a disproportionate number of people of color are pulled over, arrested and subject to excessive force compared to white people. In the city of Boston alone, 70 percent of people stopped by police are Black. 

And it’s not only profiling; it’s the increased use of force against people of color. Overall, police are twice as likely to threaten the use of force against people of color and twice as likely to use it. We’ve seen this police brutality play out time and again with viral videos of police encounters, as cell phone recordings of these interactions become ubiquitous. 

If you’re pulled over by the police, it may be a good idea to record your interaction. It could protect you and provide evidence in cases of excessive force or brutality, as well as increase accountability of the policing system. Here are some quick tips on how you can record your encounter with police during a traffic stop.

“Hey Siri, I’m getting pulled over.”

If you have an iOS device, you can enable a little-known shortcut to trigger a sequence of 18 actions on your phone to begin recording your traffic stop. 

By speaking the command, “Hey Siri, I’m getting pulled over,” your device will dim the screen, turn on “Do Not Disturb” mode to block incoming calls, and initiate the front-facing camera to begin recording. The shortcut can also send a text message to a predesignated contact letting them know your location and that you’ve been pulled over. After the video is done, your video can be automatically backed up to iCloud or Dropbox.

Here’s how to enable the shortcut:

  1. Confirm your device is running iOS 12 or higher. If not, update your iOS version.
  2. Download and install the Shortcuts app to your device.
  3. Visit this link from your device to install the “I’m getting pulled over” shortcut
  4. If your device prevents you from installing untrusted shortcuts, you’ll need to adjust your settings to allow the shortcut.
  5. Once installed, you can choose your predesignated contact and cloud service to backup your video.

“Hey Google” version for Android users

If you use an Android device, you can create a set of similar actions on your phone. While there isn’t an exact corollary shortcut for Android, you can create routines on your device to perform similar actions. 

Here are some tutorials from Android Central and Lifewire that can get your started.

ACLU’s Mobile Justice app

In 17 states and the District of Columbia, our allies at the American Civil Liberties Union offer a mobile app that puts police accountability in your hands to help you record your interactions with the police and automatically upload the video to the organization.

The app lets you easily record, witness and report police interactions and misconduct right from your phone. The app also lets you add additional information, share your location and include contact information for follow up from the ACLU affiliate. The free app is available for iOS and Android on the ACLU’s website.

Final note about recording the police

Some people may have questions regarding issues that may arise when recording a police interaction, like whether it’s legal to secretly record a police officer, or what to do if an officer gets angry, tells you to stop recording, tries to confiscate your device or other concerns. Our grantees at the Electronic Frontier Foundation believe you have a First Amendment right to record your interaction with the police, as long as you are not interfering with their official duties. 

Here are some additional resources that may address some concerns:

CREDO joins Planned Parenthood to protect access to birth control

This month, the Supreme Court ruled that employers can deny birth control coverage to their workers based on a religious or moral objection. This decision puts birth control coverage at risk for millions of women, especially low income women, and we are outraged at yet another affront to women’s reproductive rights.

But we are also resolute and unwavering in our commitment to providing no-cost birth control coverage for our employees. 

Just weeks before this ruling, CREDO again joined Planned Parenthood’s #BusinessForBC campaign, a public pledge to guarantee employee birth control coverage and to support policies that protect reproductive health care access for all workers. We have called on other companies and business leaders to join us to ensure affordable birth control access is covered, no matter what.

CREDO will always work to ensure gender equality in our company, and we will never stop fighting for the rights of women across America. We understand deeply that reproductive care, including birth control, is essential health care for all workers and is critical for diversity and inclusion, recruitment, retention, advancement and financial stability for all of our employees.

We’ve always been proud to stand with Planned Parenthood, and we’re honored to be one of their largest corporate donors. Our members have helped us donate more than $3.5 million to the organization, and over $10.5 million to groups fighting for women’s rights and reproductive health.

In light of this misguided Supreme Court ruling, it is more important than ever that companies commit to protecting access to birth control for their workers. We urge other businesses to join us and sign the pledge on Planned Parenthood’s website.

Watch: What Pride means to CREDO members

Love. Acceptance. Celebration and inclusivity. Basic human rights for everyone. Empowerment for people to feel safe and free to be themselves. “I am proud to be me.”

Those are some of the great responses — nearly 16,000 in total! — that we received when CREDO members took our Pride survey and participated in our #PrideInSixWords Twitter campaign last month.

Take a minute to watch this short and heartwarming “Virtual Pride Celebration” highlighting some of the great submissions from members like you from all across the country:

In our survey, we also asked our members an important question: “Compared to 4 years ago, do you feel your environment is more supportive of the LGBTQ community?”

Remarkably, after four years where the current administration and some lawmakers have worked to roll back rights and protections for LGBTQ people, a majority of respondents — 72 percent — who self-identified as a member of the LGBTQ community “somewhat” or “definitely” feel like their environment is more supportive today.

While that’s really great news, it also means 28 percent of respondents feel no change or that things have gotten worse. That’s why our fight for equality, along with our allies, will continue until all LGBTQ people, as our members told us, have “equal protection under the law” and when we “remove prejudice and discrimination,” “delete sexism, “end LGBTQphobia,” and “erase hate.”

And that’s why our members, who use our products and services every day, will continue to help us fund organizations fighting for LGBTQ rights, like the Transgender Law Center, the LGBTQ Task Force and the Trevor Project. In fact, our members have helped us donate over $14 million to groups fighting for equality and civil rights.

Even if you didn’t have the chance to make your voice heard in June, that’s okay! Feel free to tweet at us what Pride means to you, using the hashtag #PrideInSixWords — because here at CREDO, Pride isn’t just in June. We celebrate equality and LGBTQ rights all year long.

Music: www.bensound.com

Vote for Feeding America, the National Domestic Violence Hotline and Sunrise Movement this July

Every month, CREDO members vote to distribute $150,000 to three incredible progressive causes – and every vote makes a difference. This July, you can support groups working to end hunger, to help survivors of domestic violence, and to fight for climate justice by voting to fund the Feeding America, the National Domestic Violence Hotline and Sunrise Movement.

Feeding America

Feeding America’s mission is to feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger.

Funding from CREDO members will help Feeding America and its network of food banks provide food and support to our neighbors in need across the country, reaching families and individuals in every county in the United States.

National Domestic Violence Hotline

For nearly twenty-five years, the National Domestic Violence Hotline has answered the call – over 5.2 million calls, chats, and texts to date – for those affected by relationship abuse. It works to shine a light on domestic violence by providing hope in times of crisis.

Funding from CREDO will help The Hotline meet the increased demand for critical, life-saving services for survivors, as well as purchase additional equipment for The Hotline’s Advocates that are now operating on a remote basis. Advocates answer contacts 24/7/365 via phone, chat, and text.

Sunrise Movement

Sunrise Movement is building an army of young people from the plains to the mountains to the coasts to win the Green New Deal and center racial and economic justice in the fight against the climate crisis.

Funding from the generous support of CREDO members will power our youth voter registration and mobilization program as it works to elect champions of the Green New Deal into the halls of power.

Your vote this month will determine how we divide $150,000 in donations among these three progressive groups. Be sure to cast your vote to support one, two or all three by July 31.

CREDO members who use our products and services everyday are the reason we are able to make these donations each month. Learn more about CREDO Mobile and CREDO Energy and join our movement.