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Bradley Foundation Could Help During the Pandemic by Funding Groups on the Front Lines: Labor Unions

The Northwest Accountability Project is calling on the Wisconsin-based Bradley Foundation to immediately suspend all funding of white supremacists, anti-LGBTQ organizations and groups that attack working families. During the pandemic, these extremists have enjoyed Bradley’s gifts from their view on the sidelines while braver souls are on the front lines, facing serious health risks to ensure our safety.

The Bradley Foundation should re-route their funds to the groups actually battling the coronavirus pandemic: America’s labor unions.

Here’s why:

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation is a right-wing financial trust based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with an estimated war chest of close to $900,000,000. They grant out over $50,000,000 of that every year. The Foundation has directly exacerbated the damage of the current pandemic by funding a campaign to restrict access to food stamps and Medicaid, as well as discourage paid sick leave laws. They’ve also funded other regressive groups that have fought to divide our nation and attack people of color and the LGBTQ community.

A closer look at Bradley’s past grant recipients shows all too clearly how their money is being misspent. $1,500,000 went to an anti-LGBTQ group in New Jersey called the Witherspoon Institute which hosted an annual anti-LGBTQ seminar and funded a study that said the children of gay parents fare worse than children raised by married opposite-sex parents.

They awarded $250,000 to white nationalist Charles Murray, who wrote that “disadvantaged groups are disadvantaged because, on average, they cannot compete with white men, who are intellectually, psychologically and morally superior,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The Bradley Foundation also gifted a failing anti-worker group called the Freedom Foundation at least $1,500,000. The grant came with the understanding it would be used to defund labor unions – many of which are currently fighting daily for workers on the pandemic’s front lines to be protected and adequately compensated. Since their first grant to the Freedom Foundation was issued, however, Washington state has moved up to 3rd most unionized state in the country, casting serious doubt on the Freedom Foundation’s aptitude and making an even stronger case that Bradley should turn their funding elsewhere. The failing political organization is so desperate they have even exploited the pandemic for their billionaire funder’s political goals.

Bradley’s $50,000,000 should be directed to where it would be most useful – to the front-line healthcare workers and the labor unions supporting them. Unions have shown what heroism looks like at this moment in our country – they’ve been sourcing and distributing protective equipment, established financial safety nets for impacted workers and continue fighting for paid sick leave laws that protect all families.

The Bradley Foundation speaks in sweeping patriotic terms on their website, where it “envisions a nation invigorated by the principles and institutions that uphold our unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” We say that the Bradley Foundation has been choosing the wrong institutions for their donations – shameless groups whose principles have been to attack, demean and mislead other Americans. In reality, no other group is upholding our inalienable rights now more than labor unions.

With the Trump administration denying a new enrollment period into the Affordable Care Act, the Bradley Foundation bears even more responsibility for people unable to access social services after being laid off. They should now show true patriotism and immediately cease funding of the noxious recipients listed above and turn instead to supporting the workers, and their unions, on the front lines. These are the people who truly deserve Bradley’s millions, as they strive to protect all of our lives, our liberties and our ability to maintain happiness during this challenging time.

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