CLF staff writing on this blog, smart commentators and allied climate advocates have taken issue with Verizon Wireless appearing on the sponsor list for a Labor Day rally and concert that includes gathering of signatures for petitions against, and statements opposing, climate legislation.
A telephone conversation with Verizon Wireless Vice President Corporate Communications Jim Gerace led to him sending the following email giving his side of the story:
I appreciate you taking the time to reach out to me. You can use any of this email for your site if you’d like.
As we discussed, our involvement in the Labor Day event was initiated by some local sales people to do what we pay them to do — sell wireless phones. When they were presented with the opportunity to spend $1,000 to have access to 50,000 (the estimate at the time) members of the community they sell in, they jumped at the chance. The underlying purpose of the event was not made obvious to them. They saw it as a Labor Day concert. Our involvement is not a statement of our policy on these issues. Many media and interested people have chosen to not believe that, but they need only look at our record to see how serious we are about protecting the environment we live and work in. We didn’t wake up one day last week and change our minds. The following link will bring you to some of our key initiatives in this area: http://aboutus.vzw.com/Green_Initiative/overview.html . The first one called Hopeline is a program I created way back in 1995 and continue to direct today. Our commitment to the environment is unwavering, that some want to believe otherwise is disappointing.
What do folks think? They are saying this is an innocent mistake by a company that is generally trying to do the right thing. Do you buy it? Comment below . . .
Personally, I am waiting to see Verizon and/or Verizon Wireless step forward and take affirmative steps to show leadership as some of the true leaders in all sectors of American business have already done. Perhaps they will.