Walmart, bastion of cheap patio furniture, Mickey Mouse Dolman t-shirts and financially abused workers, has been doing its best to weasel its way into NYC for a while now. And like any good corporation hellbent on destroying the very fabric of the so-called American Dream, it looks like Walmart's trying to curry favor with New Yorkers by funneling cash into charitable funds—but the City Council smells a rat, and they've told the retailer to back off.
According to the Post, 26 of the Council's 51 members have penned an open letter to Walmart and the Walton Family Foundation demanding they keep their "toxic money" out of the city. "We know how desperate you are to find a foothold in New York City to buy influence and support here,” the letter reportedly reads. “Stop spending your dangerous dollars in our city. That’s right: this is a cease-and-desist letter.”
Apparently, the keepers of Walmart's financial treasure chest have been handing millions of dollars to local charities, with recent beneficiaries including the New York Women’s Foundation and HIV/AIDS non-profit Bailey House. The ever-controversial charter school programs have also been on the receiving end of Walmart cash, which can't possibly sit well with city elected officials. Plus, the charity money comes tainted with the blood of a million mom-and-pop shops, and today City Council Members like Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito gathered on the steps of City Hall, decrying the corporation and ripping up mock Walton Family Foundation checks cut to the city.
CM Barron says to Walmart, you are against our progressive values, "you are not coming into New York City!" pic.twitter.com/NCdOQryM7v
— Ben Max (@TweetBenMax) June 4, 2014
Here's the full text of the letter below:
Dear Walmart and the Walton Family Foundation: Communities always lose far more than they gain from you. New Yorkers across the five boroughs know that they can’t afford to lose the good local jobs and vibrant small businesses that predatory and harmful Walmart stores would quickly take away. That’s why you have failed to open a single store here. But we know how desperate you are to find a new foothold in New York City and to buy influence and support here. A few years ago, you relied on slick ads and overpriced consultants to try to win over New Yorkers, but now you have gone underground and are running a stealth campaign with your money. Well, listen up: We are on to you! We have seen your growing but quiet efforts to bankroll the privatization of public education in New York City and to invest in conservative organizations here that are actively working to undermine the progressive agenda we support. And we are not having any of it.
So, we are calling on you today to stop spending your dangerous dollars in our city. That’s right: this is a cease and desist letter representing the views of thousands of New Yorkers across the city.
We’ve had it. Our constituents have had it. And everyone we know in this city has had it with you.
We are all familiar with your efforts nationally to fund anti-worker, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBT, and anti-democratic policies and politicians. But make no mistake: you will not get away with that here. So, stop trying!
It is not going to happen, especially not now. We are working hard to advance policies and legislation that will reduce inequality and help promote better education, better jobs, and a better city for all.
Your dangerous dollars are not welcome here and will not be accepted. Your toxic money is being rejected by New York City today.
Many of us are gathering at City Hall today with a diverse group of outraged residents to rip up your checks to the city and show that you have been outnumbered, outmaneuvered, and outsmarted.
You have been defeated many times before in New York City. And today you are being defeated again.