Next month voters in Humboldt County, California, will consider a ballot measure to ban election contributions by out-of-town corporations. Continue reading
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Among Jane Jacobs’ many accomplishments, she mobilized her neighbors and led several successful grassroots fights in the 1960s that saved Greenwich Village, Soho, Little Italy, and the Lower East Side from being leveled for glass towers and an eight-lane highway. Continue reading
A public hearing on a county ordinance to limit stores to 60,000 square feet got a late start because it had to be moved first to the middle school auditorium and then to the gymnasium to accommodate the throng of nearly 1,400 people who turned out. Continue reading
A California appeals court upheld an ordinance enacted by the city of Turlock that prohibits the construction of supercenters. Wal-Mart had challenged the ordinance on the grounds that it illegally restricted competition. The court ruled that the ordinance was a valid use of local authority. Continue reading
On Tuesday, voters in the small town of Damariscotta, Maine, overwhelmingly approved a local law barring stores over 35,000 square feet (about the size of a medium grocery store). The vote puts an end to Wal-Mart’s plans to build a 187,000-square-foot supercenter in this village of just 2,000 people. Continue reading
By a wide margin, the Vermont Senate endorsed a bill that would require any proposed big-box store in the state to undergo an economic and community impact analysis. Continue reading
Voters in Frisco, Colorado, resoundingly defeated a plan to develop a Home Depot superstore. Continue reading
Global retail corporations are aiming to use international trade agreements to challenge local land use and zoning regulations, according to an alarming new report from Public Citizen. Continue reading
As the company’s misdeeds pile up in the public consciousness, it can be tempting to define the problem of Wal-Mart as one of a bad apple—a rogue company gone awry in an otherwise sound economic system.
Wal-Mart has indeed attained a scale that puts it in a category all its own, and there’s no question that it is leading a race to the bottom. But others are running that race too. Target’s wages are as poor and its health benefits as out of reach. Home Depot and Lowe’s have crushed thousands of independent hardware stores. Best Buy has its main sourcing office Shanghai, where it relies on the same dismal factories.
The City Council of Santa Maria, California, voted unanimously to deny Wal-Mart’s request to rezone land for a supercenter. Continue reading