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The LA Times staff writer, Jon Healey, wrote a piece this past Monday regarding the issue of Walmart in Chinatown. I believe Jon really broke down the REAL issues facing the people of Los Angeles and Chinatown versus the mixed and sometimes erroneous statements that have been made on the project.
Los Angeles City Council is considering a proposal that would put a hold on all new future chain-store development of Chinatown. As Jon Healey writes, “…a move that specifically would halt the planned construction of a Wal-Mart grocery store in the neighborhood.” Wal-Mart applied for the LA City required permits to build a grocery store in a pre-existing location, that has been sitting vacant for more than 15 years. Empty…no much needed sales tax revenue for the City of Los Angeles and even more important jobs for those residents of Los Angeles, who need them most.
What the proposed action is really telling future developers and businesses wanting to come to Los Angeles is this…EVEN IF YOU PLAY BY THE RULES…YOU ARE NOT WELCOME! This is a political platform to pick and chose who comes and stays in Los Angeles, instead of just letting the already established rules and regulations dictate that effort.
The real issue behind the outcry of this battle is organized labors’ political agenda, not the Chinatown community’s agenda, who support Wal-Mart. So it uses its major “political muscle” to move mountains and instead of creating good paying jobs…it’s actually creating controlled chaos for the benefit of a few elected officials and labor leadership. Trust me….if the people of Chinatown do not want this store in their neighborhood, they will not shop there and Wal-Mart will close shop. So this is ALL about union dues, and not about good paying jobs.
As business advocates, let’s continue to support the laws and regulations already established by the City of Los Angeles’ Planning Department and stop wasting valuable Angelino tax dollars on political drama. I put this on the table to organized labor….why have you not brought in a “unionized” market to this exact location in the past 15 years?