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Plenty of reasons to oppose Walmart

December 24, 2011

I am one of the so-called “1%” who is opposed to Walmart moving into Burbank.

For someone who doesn’t even live in Burbank to call our concerns “common-sense-challenged” is incredibly offensive (“Ignore the 1% who hate Walmart,” Dec. 18). I am also bothered by those who say we who oppose Walmart can solve our issue by simply not shopping there.

Clearly these people have not been really listening to what we have been saying.

First of all, all Burbank residents who shop in the Empire Center, Costco, the businesses along Victory Place or in the Burbank Terrace shopping center will be affected by the increased traffic that will come to an already over-burdened intersection, as will anyone who has to commute through that area, or who enters or exits the Golden State (5) Freeway at Burbank Boulevard.

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Avoiding Walmart doesn’t mean we can avoid Walmart shoppers. Regardless of what you think of the company, this is going to have an impact on your day-to-day quality of life. Period.

Secondly, we oppose the expansion of Walmart in general because they are the epitome of corporate greed. Walmart seeks to maximize corporate profit at the expense of its own employees, American manufacturers and the environment, not to mention the human rights violations committed by its foreign suppliers.

The retailer has replaced thousands of well-paying jobs with minimum-wage, part-time, benefit-free ones. Not exactly a recipe for helping the economy.

Incidentally, Burbank is hardly alone in opposing Walmart. There’s a reason there are so few in the Southland. City after city has fought to keep this company out, even though there was tax money to be made. They realized that it wasn’t worth the cost to their community.

I hope the Burbank City Council will step up and demand a Supplemental Environmental Impact Report, as the Burbank Leader has recommended, before it’s too late.

I, for one, will be holding my City Council members responsible for their decision come election time. And I promise that more than 1% of my fellow residents agree.

Cindi Smith

Burbank

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