As the controversy rages over Augusta National’s discriminatory all-male membership, corporate presence from the nation’s most elite firms will be understated at this year’s Masters golf tournament, according to the New York Times. Following club chair Hootie Johnson’s decision last year to eliminate corporate sponsorship, Citigroup will no longer send hundreds of its top insurance agents to attend and General Motors will no longer supply Cadillacs to transport the golfers. According to the Times, several prestigious companies including Southern Company, JP Morgan Chase, Coca-Cola, and American Express are expected to forego their usual lavish “corporate hospitality.” In some cases, CEOs like William B. Harrison Jr. of JP Morgan Chase and Kenneth I. Chenault of American Express may skip the tournament altogether. Last year, Chenault followed Citigroup chair Sanford I. Weill in calling on Augusta National to admit women members. “Without resolution on the women’s membership issue and the fact that there’s been increasing media attention, more and more companies are realizing that there’s a risk,” Jeff Bliss, president of the Virginia-based sports marketing firm Javelin Group told the Times. According to TSE Sports and Entertainment, a New York firm that arranges sporting event trips, attendance at the Masters declined 30 to 40 percent this year.
Despite calls by the NCWO not to broadcast the tournament, CBS and ESPN intend to cover the event, which will also air on foreign telecasts. Meanwhile, the federal lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Georgia on behalf of the NCWO and the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition challenging the newly passed city protest rules, is set to be heard this week.
This afternoon, Burk and Jane Smith, president of Business and Professional Women, will join Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and John Lewis (D-GA) as they announce the introduction of House Resolution “Fair Play: Equal Access in Membership,” which states that no Member of Congress or Member of the Administration should belong to a club that practices racial or sexual discrimination. A similar standard already exists for members of the federal judiciary.
NCWO plans to protest at the Masters tournament on April 12. Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal, will join Burk, Smith, and other national leaders at the protest. Buses will leave Washington, DC, at 6:30 a.m. on April 11 for an 11 a.m. rally in Augusta, GA.
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .