A slim majority of City Council members have gone off the deep end in their hatred of retail giant Walmart.
In a vicious letter dated Wednesday, 26 of the Council’s 51 members demanded that the company and its charitable arm stop donating to nonprofit organizations in the city. The signatories include Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito of Manhattan and Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer of Sunnyside.
The letter takes a despicable tone from the start: “Communities always lose far more than they gain from you,” and only goes downhill from there.
Claiming Walmart is helping bankroll “the privatization of public education” in the city — referring to its support of charter schools — and unnamed “conservative organizations,” the authors say, “We are calling on you to stop spending your dangerous dollars in our city.”
They call their missive a “cease and desist letter,” but of course it’s not; that’s something an attorney sends someone as a warning over some alleged illegality.
Yes, Walmart helps support charter schools, those institutions parents in disadvantaged communities love but their union-allied elected officials despise. Good for Walmart. Charters are a great option for children stuck in the weaker traditional schools. It also backs conservation efforts, scientific research, health advocacy, animal adoption and much more — to the tune of more than $325 million last year alone. Three million of that went to charities in the city, such as ones that offer women job training and give groceries to the poor.
The real goal of the letter is to continue to tell Walmart that it is not wanted in the city. That’s unwise and unfair, considering that its competitors such as Target are here, and that Queens residents are forced to go to Long Island for the savings only Walmart can offer.
While the letter’s signatories think Walmart is a terrible company because its workers are not unionized, millions of shoppers, as well as its employees, think otherwise. And blasting it for contributing to charity is just bizarre.