Wal-Mart's Deal with the Department of Labor

Hot news. It hasn't gotten much press, but Wal-Mart's been exposed in the New York Times of having made a deal with the US Department of Labor that gives the store warnings before conducting child labor inspections, and after finding a violation, a grace period to come into compliance... Read the article.

We're Still Here

Tuesday night's mess was a real blow to the gut. Two days later, a trailer was plopped down at the southeast corner of Delta and Rush. It was ugly, intimidating, and seemed to say "we're going to start the Wal." People were upset and angry.

Some of us went into that meeting Tuesday night thinking we'd won. Some weren't so sure. Some of us thought that something unusual was going to happen, and the vote on Wal-Mart might be pushed off a while. Nobody, I think, expected a surprise attack, a booby prize, the unveiling of a legal loophole. That attack would attempt to simultaneously stop any vote, and start development immediately.

Then, to add insult to injury... they added insult to injury! One Councilperson whipped out an old photocopied article and made a personal slight against an SOC leader. Then another one berated another leader for not finding the loophole (which that councilperson had not realized).

Where was the "representation" from the elected representatives? Why were they making personal attacks against us, when they have all the power?

But time heals all wounds. That hurt feeling had passed by Thursday night. We were still upset and angry, but posessed of the righteous anger of a people wronged.

There were too many petition signatures collected (over 5,000 total), gathered by too many volunteers, who had talked about this to too many people, to drop this issue. Too many cookies had been baked, too many boxes of candy bought, too many hats passed and stamps bought, to just give up.

We're still here, and we're still fighting. We're still going to stop Wal-Mart.

Things Get Dirty

The level of acrimony at the Dec. 14th City Council was matched only by the audacity of Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart has attempted to assert that there exists a loophole in the law, allowing a developer to proceed with development, if the City Council rescinds the ordinance approving the development agreement, which was going to be referred to a ballot of the people.

The proposal to rescind the DA was made by Jay Imperial. Comments were taken, both for and against Wal-Mart.

The exchanges of comments got heated. (I won't recount the mess here. Request the public record.)

A little break

It's time for a little break between now and the upgrade.

Here's a story about people fighting a Wal Mart in Taos, New Mexico. They're trying to push in everywhere. Rosemead ain't Taos, nor vice versa, but it's something to think about.

Latest News

As some of you have read in the news, several people have criticized Fr. Mike of St. Anthony's for opposing Wal-Mart. If you are also opposed to Wal-Mart, and appreciate the support he has given us, it would be a most gracious act to write a note of thanks.

The next meeting will be on the 18th. Normally we would have one on the 11th, but there's a planning meeting being called and I (johnk) am not sure if it's an open or closed meeting.

The 25th is Thanksgiving, and there should be no meeting on that day.

Until we get the signature count results, there's really nothing we can do except prepare for the campaign to get out the vote. We should get the results soon.

Speaking of votes, Wal-Mart contributed heavily to the No on 72 campaign that would force them to pay significantly for their worker's health care. The initiative did not pass (though, there may be enough provisional votes to pass it).

Also, our story was on Life and Times on KCET. (I thought it was biased against us, but, I'm sure I am biased myself.) There will be another Wal-Mart program on next week, on Frontline, on KCET.

Finally, I am hoping to move the website to an upgraded version of this software, called CivicSpace. I hope it goes okay.

No Meeting on the 28th

There's no meeting on the 28th. The next meeting is on the 4th.

The signature has not yet been verified, due to the upcoming elections. Remember to vote!

The Signatures are on Their Way

I know you've been looking for information about the referendum. This site's been silent, as not to jinx the signatures.

On Wednesday the 13th, the clerk recorded 2615 signatures.

Now, it's in their hands. They can set the voting date for this issue. I can be on a special ballot, but, most people suspect it will be on the March ballot, to reduce cost.

Sign the Petition on Monday and Tuesday Night

We'll have petition gatherers at the condos at Rush and Delta, in the Public Room, from 5PM to 9PM, on Monday and Tuesday night.

Please, bring your neighbors who haven't had a chance to sign the petition. It's critical that every person supporting a referendum get their signature down.

If you have signed the "old" petition from a month ago, but haven't signed the "new" one yet, you need to sign the new petition. The old petition only recorded our opposition to the project, and had no legal weight. The City Council didn't really take this protest seriously. That's why we have a new petition, which is a legal petition to put the Wal-Mart issue to a vote of the people.

Wal-Mart is worried; they are spreading rumors and "spin" about SOC and the petitions. They know there's a lot of opposition. (In other cities, Wal-Mart paid big money to put themselves on the ballot. In Rosemead, they are doing everything they can to keep it off.)

BUT, in order to make the biggest impact, we need as many signatures as possible, to assure that it gets on the ballot. Then, the people can decide. Signing the petition is a way to say "the voters know how to make decisions about the city."

So get your neighbors and friends down to sign it!

THANK YOU to all the people who signed at St. Anthony's.

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