Whitehall, MI. Michigan Supreme Court Denies Citizen Appeal Against Wal-Mart
Sprawl-Busters first began writing about Whitehall, Michigan's battle against Wal-Mart in March of 2013. Activists there have continued to speak out against the negative impact that Wal-Mart has on our local and national economy, emptying out the downtown business core of small communities, and leaving our economy with a low wage workforce struggling to stay above the poverty level.
The Whitehall group, Back Off Wal-Mart, Not Our Town (BOWNOT) has issued the following press release this week:
Despite a September 9, 2015 decision by the Michigan Supreme Court to deny an appeal filed against Whitehall Township by six of its residents and BOWNOT (Back Off Walmart - Not Our Towns) regarding the building of a Walmart Supercenter in the Township, BOWNOT members say the opposition to Walmart will continue,
“We believe the lower courts made critical errors that should have been heard and considered by the Michigan Supreme Court,” said Dave Frederick, chair of BOWNOT, which was formed after Whitehall Township officials abruptly announced two years ago a deal pending with Walmart for a 126,000 square foot super center just off US 31.
“BOWNOT understands that this decision could mean the end of litigation, but we will continue to oppose the building of a Supercenter here,” said Frederick.
According to BOWNOT, thousands of community members have demonstrated their opposition to Walmart by contributing over $65,000, which has been spent for educational and promotional materials and for litigation expenses. More than 4,000 people have signed petitions opposing Walmart and pledging not to shop at a Walmart store.
Those opposed to the Walmart store maintain that it will have a substantial negative impact on the small-town character and culture of the historic, picturesque lakeshore communities of Montague and Whitehall, and surrounding townships, commonly known altogether as the White Lake area.
“Based on all the studies that have been done across the country, we know that a Walmart store will cause the closing of locally-owned businesses and send customers’ dollars out of the state instead of putting them back into the local economy,” said Frederick. “We know that the addition of Walmart stores in communities the size of the White Lake area has caused the loss of three jobs for every two they create. And we believe that Walmart’s historically low wages and poor benefits will do nothing to alleviate poverty in our area.”
“In the face of strong majority public opposition, Walmart has garnered considerable ill will by continuing with its plan to force the building of a supercenter in the White Lake community,” says Frederick.
Members of BOWNOT vow to continue to educate the public on what it refers to as the “real Walmart effect” and will encourage residents and visitors who come to this popular tourist destination to shop at locally-owned stores.
“We remain hopeful that Walmart officials will see that building in a community where they are clearly not wanted is a bad business decision,” said Frederick. “The final decision as to whether Walmart succeeds here will be made in the court of public opinion”.
What you can do: Readers who want to learn more about BOWNOT's 2+ year campaign against Wal-Mart in Whitehall, Michigan can contact Dave Frederick at: firstname.lastname@example.org