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California Group Calls Out Disney, Paramount, Airbnb, First5 LA and Other CA Companies for Opposing Funding for LA Schools

Courage Campaign Launches “BizFed Hurts Kids” Campaign Urging Major Companies to Leave the L.A. County Business Federation as it Leads Opposition to Education Funding

BizFed Hired Big Tobacco Lobbyist to Defeat Measure EE, Which Would Fund Vital Services for Kids at LAUSD Schools

LOS ANGELES —The California-based Courage Campaign has launched the “BizFed Hurts Kids” campaign in an effort to expose the Los Angeles County Business Federation (BizFed) and its leading role in opposing vital funding for the children of Los Angeles. 

The campaign calls on major Los Angeles companies — Disney Worldwide Services, Paramount Pictures, Airbnb, and First5 LA, an organization whose mission is to “promote, support, and optimize early childhood development” — to leave BizFed until the Federation drops its efforts to defeat Measure EE. 

Measure EE, which will be put before voters in the Los Angeles Unified School District in a special election on June 4, would raise desperately needed money to fund smaller class sizes, as well as provide kids with additional nurses, counselors, and librarians. BizFed has hired Matt Klink, a former lobbyist and strategist for Big Oil and Big Tobacco companies, to run their campaign against the measure.

“Los Angeles kids deserve better. They deserve smaller classes, access to librarians and nurses, and not to mention, a better than 700-to-1 student-to-counselor ratio,” said Eddie Kurtz, Executive Director of Courage Campaign. “And they also deserve to know that LA’s leading corporations — particularly those that purport to care about children and make their money off of programs targeted at children — are not actively opposing their health and education. The fact that Disney, Paramount, First5 and Airbnb have chosen to prioritize short-term profits over the wellbeing of school children is a disgrace. Courage Campaign members won’t stand for it. That’s why we’re letting BizFed and all of its member organizations know that this is unacceptable. 

“One thing is for sure, if they want to cause kids harm, they hired the right man for the job. Matt Klink has made his career by exploiting the health of children, so it makes perfect sense that they have hired him to run their campaign. 

“We implore Disney, Paramount, First5 LA and Airbnb to leave the Federation until it puts kids before corporate greed and puts an end to its Big Tobacco-style campaign to defeat Measure EE.”

Earlier this week, Courage Campaign launched a petition demanding that the Los Angeles County Business Federation abandon its campaign against Measure EE.

For more on the “BizFed Hurts Kids” campaign, visit @BizFedHurtsKids.

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Courage California, formerly Courage Campaign, works to unite communities organizing for progressive change, fight the forces of corruption, and hold our representatives to account in order to ensure that California’s elected officials act with courage. Our community of members envision California as a model of progressive, equitable, and truly representative democracy that sets the standard for our country.


Angela Chavez