Burbank residents are tired of Walmart spokespeople falsely claiming that Burbank wants a Walmart, and we're tired of being referred to as “special interests.”
When it was announced that Walmart purchased the space formerly occupied by the Great Indoors, it was residents who launched Facebook pages and a Twitter account in an effort to organize; it was residents who stayed until midnight at City Council meetings to speak out against Walmart and asked for it to be put on an agenda; it was residents who showed up at a sham of an “open house” where Walmart representatives couldn't answer the most basic questions, and instead, asked us to complete cards so they could get back to us later (this is what Walmart counts as “support” for opening the store); it was residents who walked the neighborhoods and gathered nearly 2,000 signatures from fellow residents who stated they didn't want a Walmart and why; it was residents who delivered those petitions to a deaf City Council and powerful city staff.
And now it's residents who are suing the city (“Suit aims at stopping Walmart,” May 9).
Curiously, if you read the local papers in other communities fighting Walmart, you'll see that Walmart spokespeople use the same rhetoric over and over, claiming that your town wants a Walmart and “special interests” are interfering. Well, the “divide and conquer” defense tactic doesn't work here.
Kudos to Ms. Ingalsbee, Ms. Ziraldo and Ms. Olson for standing up for Burbank residents — something Walmart will never, ever do.