March 23, 2012 | 2:15 pm
Posted by David A. Lehrer
Yesterday, Community Advocates blogged about the dishonesty animating a motion (as you read the motion keep in mind that the Wal-Mart is nowhere near what is commonly thought of as Chinatown, but at the top of Downtown where Grand meets Cesar Chavez/Sunset) offered by Councilmen Garcetti and Reyes to effectively ban Wal-Mart from leasing a space in an existing building that has been vacant for years at Cesar Chavez and Grand . You can read our blog here.
The conclusion of our piece was,
We aren’t Muppets and we aren’t idiots and our electeds ought not treat us as such. If they have a problem with Wal-Mart because their union supporters do—admit it. If those concerns trump new jobs and enlivening a neighborhood that needs retail be honest about it. Don’t hide behind a façade of concern that is transparently dishonest.
Today the Los Angeles Times chose the same topic to editorialize on and their conclusion mirrors ours (this is the second time this week that the Times has taken a position consistent with The Wide Angle’s).
….. the proposal is unwise and counterproductive …if the council approves the moratorium, Wal-Mart will be asked to produce studies and endure delay for a proposal that already meets the city’s rules and objectives.
Some people don’t want to work at Wal-Mart because of its labor practices. They shouldn’t have to. Some don’t like the way it treats its suppliers or the fact that its workers are not unionized. Those critics should feel free to shop elsewhere. But the government should not change the rules on this project when it already is underway. The council should reject Reyes’ proposal.
The Times argues that changing the rules of the game on Wal-Mart at the behest of labor will make LA even more unattractive to new businesses than it presently is, a risk that LA can ill afford.
It will be interesting to see what the City Council does today—-will they acquiesce to labor’s demand and kill Wal-Mart’s plans or will they allow a legitimate business to comply with existing rules and provide jobs and services to a community that needs them.
The result will tell us a lot about the mettle of the Council we have and about those who would be mayor.
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