Aspen Snowmass, Vail Resorts, and Boyne Resorts Join Campaign to Pass John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

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Credit: Aspen Snowmass

Aspen Snowmass announced yesterday that they will be joining more than 160 other companies in urging Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA) to protect voters against discrimination. Vail Resorts and Boyne Resorts have also thrown their support behind the change.

The Voting Rights Act has a long history of overwhelming bipartisan support. Today, we must continue to protect the right for all eligible Americans to vote. To that end, we’ve joined with more than 160 companies to urge Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA) to protect voters against discrimination.

“We are proud to live in Colorado, which had record voter turnout last year, and want to ensure folks across the country can participate in free and fair elections. So, we’d like to thank Senator Bennet for cosponsoring the John Lewis VRAA in the last Congress, which will prevent discrimination at the polls and ensure all Americans can easily vote.” -Mike Kaplan, CEO and President, Aspen Skiing Company.

– Aspen Snowmass

The John Lewis Voting Rights Act (also known as H.R.4) is proposed legislation that would restore and strengthen parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, certain portions of which were struck down by the United States Supreme Court in 2013 by Shelby County v. Holder. Particularly, it would bring back the Voting Rights Act of 1965’s requirement that jurisdictions with a history of discrimination get permission from the Department of Justice to make changes to their elections, using an updated formula to determine those jurisdictions. It was last introduced in the 116th Congress, and is named after late Georgia Representative and voting rights activist John Lewis.

Some of the world’s largest companies, including Apple, PepsiCo, Amazon, Google, and Target, announced their support of updating the Voting Rights Act in a letter released Wednesday. Notable outdoor companies involved are Patagonia, REI, and Burton.

No matter your zip code, race, ethnicity, color, who you vote for, what language you speak, or whether you are our customers, one thing is clear: we all value the right to vote, and believe that all eligible Americans should have free, fair, and safe access to this fundamental right.

This is why more than 160 companies of all sizes and sectors from across the country have come together to urge Congress to introduce and pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, to make fair and safe access to voting real for all. Because the freedom to vote is everyone’s business.

– Business for voting rights

The full letter, and supporting companies, is below:

Business Letter to Congress in Support of Voting Rights

Honorable Members of Congress:

As a 25-year-old in the spring of 1965, John Lewis, your friend and former colleague, then the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, led a march of over 600 people across the Edmund Pettus Bridge to secure the equal right to vote in this country. Fortified with an uncommon courage and an unwavering conviction that America could still fulfill its highest ideals, he was met that day with a force that left him and other marchers bloodied but they remained determined. In the months that followed, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 with the strongest protections against voter discrimination in American history, altering how elections would be run in this nation for the next five decades.

In the 2020 election, Americans came together to work the polls, get out the vote, and cast their ballots in spite of the pandemic, achieving historic levels of voter participation. The business community is proud of our role in encouraging our employees, customers, and communities to exercise their right to vote and have a say in our government. Widespread civic engagement is essential to a stable society and robust economy. Our democracy is strongest, as Congressman Lewis knew, when we all can vote.

At the same time, the election highlighted deep inequities in how our elections are run. Despite decades of progress, impediments to exercising the right to vote persist in many states, especially for communities of color. We need federal protections to safeguard this fundamental right for all Americans.

To this end, the undersigned group of U.S. employers urges Congress to address these problems through legislation amending the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Last Congress, the House of Representatives passed the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. We support the ongoing work of both the House and the Senate to enact legislation amending the Voting Rights Act this Congress.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965, long considered the crown jewel of civil rights legislation, contained provisions that prevented the adoption of discriminatory rules that limited access to voting in states with histories of voting discrimination. Those provisions were reauthorized four times by overwhelming bipartisan majorities in the U.S. Congress, and every time the VRA has been reauthorized it has been signed into law by a Republican president. Upon signing the 1982 reauthorization into law, President Reagan said that “Citizens must have complete confidence in the sanctity of their right to vote, and that’s what this legislation is all about. It provides confidence that constitutional guarantees are being upheld and that no vote counts more than another.” 

In 2013, the Supreme Court in Shelby County v. Holder struck down those provisions in a 5-to-4 decision as unconstitutional. The effects were immediate. Within days, states formerly covered by the law began passing legislation to make voting more difficult with burdensome voter ID requirements, polling place closures, reductions in early voting, the elimination of same-day voter registration, and purging voter rolls, all of which disproportionately affected communities of color. In handing down its ruling, the Supreme Court invited Congress to update the coverage formula to ensure the law is responsive to current voting conditions. Congressional action on that invitation is long overdue.

Congress needs to amend the Voting Rights Act to restore necessary safeguards by updating the Voting Rights Act’s coverage formula to prevent voting discrimination, as well as establish a more transparent and accountable system for states to report election law changes. Legislation amending the Voting Rights Act must help ensure that voters of color who remain the targets of voter suppression have equal and unfettered access to the democratic process.

Representative John Lewis called the right to vote “the most powerful non-violent tool we have in our democratic society.” He was a fierce advocate of the Voting Rights Advancement Act (HR4) because our country is in an “ongoing struggle to redeem the soul of America, and we’re not there yet.” As we approach the first anniversary of Congressman Lewis’ passing, his life’s work to strengthen American democracy must now be ours.

While each of our companies is unique, we are united in the belief that every American deserves a voice in our democracy. It is our government’s role to ensure voting is accessible to all. We urge Congress to add to the legacy of Representative Lewis by passing Voting Rights Act legislation that assures that every voice is heard.

Respectfully,

Signatory companies & business organizations 

Companies

  • 500 Startups
  • Adasina Social Capital
  • Airbnb
  • Amalgamated Bank
  • Amazon.com
  • Anji Mountain
  • APCO Worldwide
  • Apple
  • Arcweb TechnologiesAsana
  • Aspen Skiing Company
  • Avocado Green Brands
  • Azavea
  • Bad Robot Productions
  • Beautycounter
  • Beepboop
  • Ben & Jerry’s Homemade
  • Beneficial State BanBest Buy
  • The Blueprint Strategy Group
  • Bountiful Books
  • Box
  • Boyne Resorts
  • Burton
  • Capricorn Investment Group
  • CareHero
  • CareVet
  • Chicory Wealth
  • Circ
  • Cisco
  • Clif Bar & Company
  • Clover Sonoma
  • The Collab Lab
  • Commercial Property Services
  • Compose[d]
  • Countable
  • CREDO Mobile
  • CredSpark
  • Cummins
  • CustomerCount
  • Danone North America
  • Dave Gragg Agency
  • Direct AgentsDoing Good Works
  • DoorDash
  • Dr. Bronner’s
  • DSM North America
  • ECOS
  • Edelman
  • Edthena
  • Empowered Education
  • Encore Renewable Energy
  • Etsy
  • Eventbrite
  • Facebook
  • Flex Fusion Studios
  • For the Win
  • Good Energy Guild
  • Google
  • Greenlight Financial Technology
  • H&M USA
  • Hannon Armstrong
  • Harry’s
  • Heart Centered Psychotherapy
  • Herra Productions
  • The Hershey Company
  • HigherRing
  • Hims & Hers
  • HP
  • Ibis Communications
  • IKEA U.S.
  • Impax Asset Management
  • Infosys
  • Initiate Government Solutions
  • Intel Corporation
  • Invitae
  • Jonathan Rose Companies
  • Juniper Networks
  • JustLaws
  • Keap Co.
  • KEEN
  • Key Medium
  • L. M. Lewis Consulting
  • Leading Change Consulting & Coaching
  • Legacy Vacation Resorts
  • Levi Strauss & Co.
  • Lime
  • Litwin Law
  • Live Well Brands
  • LM Studio
  • Lyft
  • M1PR
  • Macy’s
  • Mailchimp
  • Mars, Incorporated
  • MegaFood
  • Microsoft Corporation
  • Mighty Cricket
  • MobiusVP
  • MOM’s Organic Market
  • Mondelez International
  • MPAC Healthcare
  • Namaste Solar
  • Nerdy Diva
  • Nestlé USA
  • Nextdoor
  • Oak Street Health
  • Okta
  • Optimize International
  • Patagonia
  • PayPal
  • PepsiCo, Inc.
  • Pinterest
  • PrivacyWall
  • Propr Design
  • Public Good
  • Puente Strategies
  • Randa Apparel & Accessories
  • Raven + Lily
  • REI Co-op
  • Reimbursify
  • RenewComm
  • Rivanna Natural Designs
  • RKT Technology
  • Salesforce
  • Salt Palm Development
  • Sameem Afghan Restaurant
  • Sealaska Corporation
  • ServiceNow
  • Seventh Generation
  • Shipt
  • Shoshana Technologies
  • Sierra Nevada Brewing Co
  • Sing Out, Louise! Productions
  • Smilow + Mathiesen
  • Sony Music Group
  • Sound Entertainment Events
  • Southeast Tourism Society
  • Square
  • Starbucks
  • Taizu
  • Target
  • TAXA
  • Teddy Stratford Apparel
  • Tesla
  • Tiffany & Co.
  • Traditional Medicinals
  • Trillium Asset Management
  • Tripadvisor
  • TSquared Consulting
  • Uncommon Bold
  • Under Armour
  • Unilever USA
  • Universal Music Group
  • UserTesting
  • Vail Resorts
  • Vault.co
  • Verify Venture Studio
  • W.S. Badger Company
  • Warby Parker
  • Warner Music Group
  • Watson Agency
  • wearwell
  • Wellington Flowers and More
  • Whisk: a Sustainable Bakeshop
  • Xfund
  • Zendesk
  • Zillow
  • Zoom

Business Groups

  • Black Economic Alliance
  • Business for America
  • Chamber of Progress
  • Florida For Good
  • Small Business Majority
  • Sustainable Food Policy Alliance
  • Mainstreet Alliance
  • Indianapolis Urban League
  • TechNet
  • T-REX Technology Entrepreneur Center
  • West Philadelphia Corridor Collaborative

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3 thoughts on “Aspen Snowmass, Vail Resorts, and Boyne Resorts Join Campaign to Pass John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

  1. Glad to know I don’t need an IKON pass to ride anymore. Don’t need to pay the extra $150 for access.
    “ID, we don’t need no stinking ID.” Just walk onto the lifts.
    Just walk into the cafeteria and help ourselves to food without paying.

    Do you guys realize how poorly it reflects on you to support ELECTION THEFT?

    A citizen vote is more valuable than a lift pass, or a pair of skis. The ski industry doesn’t condone those thefts.
    I can’t just walk onto Yellowstone Club and start skiing because I FEEL like it is my right to ski there.
    The boundary of country means something. I can’t even cross over into Canada to ski.

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