From the Queens Courier:
Local leaders pledged to stonewall Walmart amid rumors the retail giant is eyeing Ridgewood for its first New York City location.
The company has tried to open a location in the city for years, but resistance from public officials and civic leaders has forced it to reconsider. Recent reports have hinted that the company is looking at vacant lots and sites in Ridgewood, and public officials and community leaders are not happy.
“Walmart has a long, documented history of mistreating its workers and driving out local small businesses,” said Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley, whose district includes Ridgewood. “Bringing in this store would negatively impact both the commercial and residential areas in Ridgewood.”
Walmart’s opponents say the retail giant provides low-income, part-time jobs and forces small businesses to close because they cannot compete with the chain’s low prices.
Bertha Lewis, president of the Black Institute, a nonprofit organization that advocates for minority communities, said her group is gearing up for a war against Walmart to prevent a store from opening anywhere in the city. The group is planning to rally and boycott as well as ask public officials to step up pressure against the mega store.
Nevertheless, a 2011 NY1-Marist poll showed that 64 percent of Queens residents would like a Walmart in their neighborhood, with 76 percent of those supporters saying they would be likely to shop there.