Walmart’s announcement Friday that it was canceling two stores planned for the District sparked anger and surprise by elected officials but community activists said the move “proves once again that Walmart is a company that cannot be trusted.” Countless residents knew better than to trust the big-box giant, but were ignored by elected officials eager to believe the company’s false promises, said Nikki Lewis, Executive Director of DC Jobs With Justice. “In meetings with residents and community leaders, the company promised to bring much-needed retail to Ward 7,” said Lewis. "Unfortunately, when residents attempted to codify these promises in a written agreement, and later the Large Retailer Accountability Act (LRAA), Walmart responded by threatening to cancel their plans to open three additional stores – effectively forcing Mayor Gray to veto the LRAA.” Reverend Edwin Jones, a pastor in Ward 7 who led efforts to codify a community benefits agreement with Walmart as well as the LRAA, added that "Walmart is not the kind of development we need in Ward 7. We need retailers that keep their promises and provide good jobs for our community.”
photo: 2014 demo at H Street Walmart
Walmart Is Walking Away From The Poor D.C. Residents It Agreed To Serve, Huffington Post, January 18
Walmart backs out of D.C. deal citing costs, and city’s poorest pay the price, Courtland Milloy, Washington Post, January 18
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