Wal-Mart in my town
Jan 6, 2007
Somehow the following relates to the process of LGBT equality.
Even though snow covers the ground here in Chelan, there's a lot more heat than light in my small town this week. Anne and I are part of a group here in Chelan trying to prevent a Wal-Mart from opening. Despite being zoned for buildings of 50,000 square feet, the city approved a building permit for the 162,000 sq. ft Wal-Mart. Even though we petitioned immediately against the building permit, Wal-Mart proceeded to build on a contested permit. They were scheduled to open on January 22nd. A week ago the judge ruled in our favor, agreeing that permitting a building that's triple the allowable size is more than a minor adjustment to the zoning regulations. The city will now be ordered to revoke the building permit. There's information at www.dontboxchelan.com including a radio interview I was part of.
Over the past two years our action was in the newspapers and the radio and we even showed a movie in town and provided resources to the library. Still, few registered our existence. Even fewer thought we'd win. Most thought the Wal-Mart opening was inevitable.
Which leads to lots of heat, lot of accusations that we're rich outsiders, highly funded (we fundraised 15,000 in legal fees - Wal-Mart built a whole store and hired 200 people) and that we're subverters of democracy and the peoples will. "How dare we?"
I knew that Wal-Mart was a large corporation, but only yesterday did I learn that it is the largest corporation in the entire world. And for the moment, we stopped them from running over the law. And in this moment, a majority of people are blaming us rather than thanking us. Curious...but we're in the time of high emotion. And we get to be involved in all this, right here from Chelan Ave with the biggest corporation in the world. Much to learn.
One man wrote a harsh "how dare you," comment to me. When I wrote back to acknowledge two excellent points, we started a conversation. If you're interested, you can read these public comments.
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Somehow this all might relate to the process of LGBT equality.