Chinatown Walmart Approved Day Before L.A. City Council Acts (Really)
So let's get this straight: During a week when the most pressing issue at the L.A. City Council was a toothless "resolution" condemning conservative talk-radio hosts for their racist leanings, the body passed up an opportunity to block a Chinatown Walmart that, it would seem, none of the powers that be in town (read: unions) want?
It's true. The City Council missed a deadline ...
... that would have allowed it to possibly block a controversial Walmart in Chinatown by one day.
The Chinatown store was approved by city planning officials on Thursday. On Friday, traditionally a quieter news day (but notice how we waited till Monday to tell you), the council unanimously voted to draft an ordinance that would outlaw "formula" retail stores larger than 20,000 square feet.
The Chinatown Walmart would actually be a 33,000-square-foot neighborhood market in a mixed-use building designed for and, perhaps, begging for such a retailer.
However, the opposition isn't about the specific project, it would seem: It's about Walmart's union-busting, low-wage ways.
Unions and labor supporters -- the folks who have gotten most of the folks on the L.A. City Council elected -- are dead against the Chinatown outlet on those grounds alone.
Why would the City Council, preoccupied with such toothless matters as a resolution against KFI 640 AM's John & Ken (they called Whitney Houston a "crack ho" last month), miss an opportunity to make nice with labor?
We reached out to Monica Valencia, a rep for city Councilman Ed Reyes, who introduced Friday's belated, anti-big-box motion. Here's what she told the Weekly:
I am out of the office and will return Tuesday, March 27. If you need immediate assistance please contact the Council office at 213-473-7001.
Sort of explains how the council could miss the boat, eh?
Anyway, our two cents on how this could have happened:
-A) The council is a group of complete retards who don't know what the hell's going on in the city and instead spends its time on meaningless resolutions and pronouncements.
-B) The council did this on purpose as a gift to Walmart that would, at the same time, make it appear as if it was doing something for labor and the people.