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Levi Strauss Offers Double for Employees to Donate to Anti-Gun Causes: Politics at Work?

CEO of the company declares that business leaders have a 'moral obligation' to stem a 'violence epidemic'

Chip Bergh, the president and CEO of Levi Strauss & Co., announced the launch of a tripartite initiative to restrict Second Amendment rights — including the formation of a business arm of Michael Bloomberg’s controversial lobbyist group.

It will be called Everytown Business Leaders for Gun Safety.

He announced it Tuesday morning in Fortune, but its impact continues to reverberate today.

The first part of the company’s three-pronged approach will give more than a million dollars to establish the Safer Tomorrow Fund. This fund will funnel philanthropic grants to nonprofits and “youth activists who are working to end gun violence in America.”

Beneficiaries will include Live Free, Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence, and Everytown for Gun Safety.

As part of its support for Live Free, the Levi Strauss Foundation will also “support a series of town halls in cities across the U.S. that are disproportionately impacted by gun violence,” according to the company’s description of the effort on its website.

The second part of Levi’s corporate activism is the formation of a businessperson’s arm of Michael Bloomberg’s controversial Everytown for Gun Safety lobbyist group. Bergh encouraged all CEOs and business leaders to join the newly forming coalition.

“Through our market footprint, our employee networks, our public communications platforms, and the impact we have as employers and job creators, America’s business leaders are well positioned to raise awareness of, support, and help implement responsible measures to reduce violence,” said a statement on Everytown’s website, on the formation of Everytown Business Leaders for Gun Safety.

The final portion of Levi’s approach involves employees. Levi’s will double the corporate match for individual employees’ donations to the Safer Tomorrow fund — and it will pay employees for 60 hours a year of volunteer political activism.

He also said that he is a former U.S. Army officer — and that he is “not here to suggest we repeal the Second Amendment or to suggest that gun owners aren’t responsible.”

Bergh noted in his announcement, among other things: “We are doubling our usual employee donation match to organizations aligned with our Safer Tomorrow Fund.”

He also said that he is a former U.S. Army officer — and that he is “not here to suggest we repeal the Second Amendment or to suggest that gun owners aren’t responsible.”

He further touted his company’s other at-the-time “unpopular” stands, including offering benefits to same-sex partners in the ’90s and pulling financial support from the Boy Scouts of America when it banned gay troop leaders as examples of the company “supporting the greater good.”

Michele Blood is a Flemington, New Jersey-based freelance writer and a regular contributor to LifeZette.

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