Council falls short on new store ban in Chinatown

walmartchinatown.jpgThe ordinance would have prohibited any new retail of 20,000 square feet or more, although the ban would not have included Walmart's new Chinatown location. Council vote was 10-4 (they need 12 ayes). Another vote is possible on Wednesday, though the four holdouts - Jan Perry, Bernard Parks, Mitch Englander and Joe Buscaino - are not likely to change sides. That's a good thing - no legislative body should prohibit a company from doing business in an area it chooses, so long as everything else is in order. I believe they call that free enterprise. From KPCC:

Labor supporters urged the council to keep Walmart out of the neighborhood, arguing that the low-wage jobs are harmful to employees. However, Councilman Bernard Parks, who represents parts of South Los Angeles, said any job is better than none. He also noted that low-income areas often lack access to grocery stores. "We are being held hostage over philosophical views and, particularly, this age-old discussion about high benefits, high wages," said Parks, adding that more generous companies don't often locate in working-class communities.

Walmart received its permit before the council was able to vote on the ban. The store is expected to open in December, pending a challenge in court.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
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