In an effort to expand into major American cities Walmart has been pushing to open a new location in East New York, Brooklyn. This possible new location would threaten smaller local businesses, destroy more jobs than would be created, and pay poverty wages in a community that deserves much better. The Partnership for Working Families’ affiliate, ALIGN, was one of the lead organizations in the coalition to keep Walmart out and good jobs in the community.
On Friday, one of New York’s largest developers, the Related Companies, announced it was signing a lease in its new Gateway II development with Shop Rite – not Walmart. After a year of community outreach, education and the tireless activism of community leaders, East New York residents will now get a responsible union grocer that will bring good food and good jobs to the community. This incredible victory came on the heels another Walmart defeat by community leaders in Willets Point, Queens.
Over the last two years, a growing number of unions, community groups, faith leaders, small business owners and activists from every borough mounted intense pressure on Walmart and on the real estate developers who would sell out New York City to Walmart. ALIGN and its allies organized rallies, town halls, and marches. They made phone calls, sent emails, wrote letters and even danced in the street to get their point across. From City Hall to the Community Boards, they organized – and won the support of legislators, community leaders, and mayoral candidates.