While we've been getting lots of response to our petition to Alwyn Lewis, CEO of Sears Holdings to pull the Problem Solved t-shirts from Kmart shelves and become a leader in violence prevention, we still haven't heard from Mr. Lewis himself. In addition to programs and inviduals around the country, we've gotten a call from Senator Olympia Snowe's office asking how the office might be helpful in our endeavor. So, before we announced a protest similar to the fabulous one held in Toledo,
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we decided we would give Mr. Lewis a reminder that we were looking for some answers from him. We faxed the letter below and will keep you posted on whether he responds. In the meantime, feel free to visit the Hardy Girls' site to download your own petition for 10 people to sign and send. Together we can make a difference in creating a safer world for women and children.
January 23, 2007
Aylwin Lewis, CEO and President
Sears Holdings Corporation
3333 Beverly Road
Hoffman Estates, IL 60179
Dear Mr. Lewis:
On December 20, 2006 we faxed and mailed a letter to your office regarding the Route 66 Problem Solved “Attitude” t-shirts that Kmart is selling in stores throughout the country.
Since our letter was sent to your office, we have heard from our friends throughout the country – in states such as Minnesota, Ohio, and Massachusetts that Kmart has chosen to continue to sell the shirts despite letters, protests, and emails asking Kmart to take a stance against violence. We haven’t however, heard from Kmart or Sears Holdings as to whether Kmart is planning to act on these requests from their consumers.
Specifically, we have asked Kmart and Sears Holdings to recall the shirts from its stores permanently, take a public stand against violence, and partner with local sexual assault and domestic violence prevention projects in towns where stores are located in order to provide all staff with violence prevention and intervention trainings. In addition, we would like to see Kmart take a proactive approach to changing design and purchasing decisions to ones that reflect the values of your consumers and of your mission and values statement. Interestingly, the Meijer chain when confronted with the issue immediately understood the importance to their customers and is now looking deeper into their purchasing policies in order to avoid mistakes such as this in the future.
The Family Violence Prevention Fund, Dads and Daughters and the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood are national organizations urging their supporters to download our petition to you from our website. This issue is generating interest across the country on blogs and list-servs. We have heard from supporters in different areas that the t-shirts have been pulled from their local stores. We’ve also heard from Senator Snowe’s office inquiring as to your response to our request. Since, however, we have not heard from you or any other representative of Kmart or Sears Holdings, we will continue to generate media attention, mobilize supporters, and plan our own protest here in Maine. Violence prevention is a major concern of Hardy Girls Healthy Women and of the majority of your consumers and employees.
We sincerely encourage Kmart not only to pull the remaining shirts from all Kmart shelves, but also to take a proactive stance against violence. We look forward to hearing from you.
Megan Williams, Executive Director
Hardy Girls Healthy Women