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2005-05-21
Rosemead, CA. Citizens Unseat Pro-Wal-Mart Officials.

In Rosemead,California, the battle against a Wal-Mart supercenter has spilled over to the ballot box, where voters took matters into their own hands. Sprawl-Buster's received the following report from the frontlines: "In March, residents opposing Wal-Mart unseated two incumbent City Council members, and elected John Tran and John Nunez, who both have vowed to fight Wal-Mart. Today, the fight continues as local opponents have begun a circulating a recall petition to bring two council members, Jay Imperial and Gary Taylor, up for recall. In Rosemead, the entire city council has backed Wal-Mart, against the wishes of a large number of residents located adjacent to the site. Instead of listening to their concerns, and reconsidering the project, or even pressuring the developer to reduce the size of the project, the city council went along with whatever Wal-Mart wanted. The situation in Rosemead differs from that in other cities, because here, the entire city council, and the local chamber of commerce, both supported Wal-Mart. In most cities, the chamber is led by local business interests that would compete with Wal-Mart, but in Rosemead, the club had too many members with micro-businesses run out of their homes. Likewise, city councils in other cities are responsive to voters, but not in Rosemead. The reasons for this are varied, but, as always, it boils down to politics and votes; Rosemead is a city with relatively few voters. Because of this lack of representation, the fight was quickly pushed down to the grassroots, and into a voting effort, and has resulted in changes to the composition of the city council."

What you can do: This report is accurate in most respects, except for two observations: I have found over the past 12 years that most Chambers of Commerce are totally in the tank with Wal-Mart, and have sold out their smaller members, and many City Councils have their minds made up to support Wal-Mart and don't want to be confused by the facts. Most public officials act without information. They think a building going up means new jobs and taxes, because they have no facts to tell them otherwise, and they don't want to bother to dig for the truth: Wal-Mart is not a form of economic development. It brings old jobs in new aprons. That's why these officials get their constituents so mad, the voters decide they need to be removed, as has been partially done in Rosemead. For local contacts in this community, contact info@sprawl-busters.com.










 
 
"Norman has become the guru of the anti-Wal-Mart movement" ~ 60 Minutes

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