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No, Burbank residents don't want Walmart

February 25, 2012

In a recent Op-Ed piece on Feb. 19 titled “Op-Ed: Here's why Burbank residents want Walmart,” a high-ranking employee of Walmart had the gall to declare that Burbank residents want a Walmart. It is a declaration that insults the intelligence of every resident of Burbank, implying we are not smart enough to know that the writer, Steven Restivo, is paid a nice, fat salary to hold this opinion.

He is employed as senior director of community affairs for Walmart and has no personal ties to Burbank. As a corporate mouthpiece, it is Restivo’s job to spin pro-Walmart statements. His job relies on it. Restivo is betting on the assumption that Burbank residents won’t know the difference.

Mr. Restivo, I hate to break it to you and Walmart’s no doubt highly-paid publicity engineers, but Burbankians are not that stupid.

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He claims that a “handful of special interests are attempting to misinform readers” about Walmart. The so-called “special interests” he refers to are residents of Burbank, people who are only opposing this store because of serious concerns about what this store will do to our community.

We are not getting paid to hold our opinions. We hold them because we and our families have a personal stake in this community.

Walmart has low prices because they scour the planet looking for the cheapest manufactured goods they can find; goods that often are not made in America. This is fact and not “urban myth,” as Restivo implies. Go into any Walmart and check labels.

Walmart will bring exceedingly low-paying jobs to Burbank at the cost of higher-paying manufacturing jobs in America.

I believe that shopping at Walmart is not only bad for an individual community, it is anti-American. The largest corporation on the planet does not care one whit about Burbank. It cares about its own profits. Unlike Restivo, I know that Burbank is filled with intelligent people who are capable of seeing an “opinion” written by a corporate publicity machine for what it is: garbage with an agenda.

Please do not allow Restivo, or other Walmart suits, to insult our intelligence any further. We are capable of seeing through the spin.

Again, Mr. Restivo, Burbankians are not that stupid.

Ann Sloan

Burbank

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