(**Update on this article can be seen here.)
HERE’S THE DEAL
Marriott fired a long-term employee, a Democrat, because she’s running for a seat on her local county commission. And it just so happens that Marriott supports her Republican opponent.
Let’s tell Marriott where we stand on punishment-for-politics. Here’s one way:
If you have a Twitter account, please post this:
@MarriottVacClub you don’t fire over politics #VivianaJanerJustice
Sleazy hotels have had a role in political scandals for as long as anyone can remember. But, usually, they just host the scandals — not instigate them. One upscale hospitality chain did just that, though, and they ought to hear that we don’t like it. That citizens care about this.
The culprit: Marriott Worldwide Vacations. The victim: Viviana Janer, who worked for Marriott and campaigns in her spare time for a seat on the Osceola County (FL) Commission. And she hasn’t given up, even though she was terminated from her job at Marriott.
Let’s get down to brass tacks:
- Viviana Janer is a Puerto Rico-born-female-MBA and long-term internal auditor for Marriott — and a Democrat who has openly worked for social justice in her county
- Viviana decided to run against an incumbent Republican for the Osceola County Commission
- Viviana didn’t notify Marriott about her campaign because she was conducting it in her spare time and was a nearly-unfunded long-shot
- Marriott’s former parent company went and donated $1,000 to her Republican opponent’s campaign
- When Marriott found out that she was running against their Republican choice for the office, they fired Viviana citing “a conflict of interest” for the company
Cheers guest star and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tip O’Neil, famously mentioned that “all politics is local.” So let’s get local. Let’s start here. Let’s warn corporations that they can not control local politics by firing employees for getting involved in their own community. Isn’t it enough that they can buy and sell the ones that they like through Citizens United? Do they have to destroy hard-working people who want to improve their community, too?
Earlier this year, you guys helped us wage a hashtag campaign against Wells Fargo, a formidable corporation that decided to destroy a local business owner — just because they could. Within hours of the Twitter campaign, they contacted the victim and were begging us to call off the hashtags. Let’s see if we can do it again, folks! This might not be the biggest fish to fry, but… all politics is local. That’s where we start. Let’s tell them “enough.”