Hey, New Seasons, There is No Excuse for Funding Hate

Last month, the Northwest Accountability Project launched a campaign calling on New Seasons Market to distance itself from the hate group funding Murdock Charitable Trust.

New Seasons is majority-owned by funds managed by Endeavour Capital. Since 2000, the Murdock Charitable Trust has invested millions in Endeavour Capital funds– including the funds which own New Seasons. This means profits from New Seasons enrich the Murdock Trust – and the Murdock Trust is no friend of working people or the LGBTQ community.

They have given millions of dollars to a wide array of anti-LGBTQ hate groups and anti-worker organizations.

One of these groups is the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) a notorious anti-LGBTQ organization which the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated a hate group. They push anti-trans legislation throughout the country and their founder, James Dobson once questioned whether AIDS was one way God punishes the LGBTQ community. Another group is the extremist Freedom Foundation, a billionaire-funded group that opposes minimum wage increases, paid sick leave and fair scheduling laws.

Our campaign has garnered significant media attention including published pieces in the Portland Business Journal and the Stranger. At the launch of our campaign, a queer identified New Seasons employee even spoke out against their employer’s connection to the Murdock trust.

So what has their response been? You would think that a grocery store that claims to “lead with [their] values” and support LGBTQ rights would take a stand against Murdock and the hateful causes it funds. But no. New Seasons just parroted the Murdock Trust’s own excuses and failed to offer a word of condemnation for the hateful and reactionary organizations Murdock funds. Some could interpret their response as a downright acceptance of the Murdock Trust and their funding. Here are a few examples:

New Seasons internal message to workers:

 

New Seasons internal message to workers

From Reed Coleman, Staff Engagement and Communications Manager at New Seasons Market:

Message from Reed Coleman, Staff Engagement and Communications Manager at New Seasons Market

A letter directly from Stephen Babson, New Seasons board member and Managing Director of Endeavour Capital:

A letter directly from Stephen Babson, New Seasons board member and Managing Director of Endeavor Capital

New Seasons had the opportunity to stand with its workers and the LGBTQ community throughout the Northwest. Instead, they made excuse after excuse. Well, there is no excuse for funding hate. The destruction that organizations like the ADF causes to the LGBTQ community is inexcusable.

If New Seasons wants to be Portland’s progressive grocer, they need to rethink their approach to the Murdock Trust and cut ties with them. Sign our petition to tell New Seasons to #DropMurdock.

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