Washington DC Fact Checker

Welcome to the Washington DC Fact Checker

All of the talk about Walmart coming to Washington DC has understandably created a lot of conversation, especially among the special interests that are working to deny Washingtonians the ability to choose where they shop for groceries and other household goods.

In the interest of ensuring that facts and substance inform the opinions of Washingtonians, we have set up this page to share information, dispel common misperceptions and continue to answer any questions that you might have about Walmart.

We know Washingtonians are used to asking tough questions and we welcome that. So ask away - the facts may surprise you.


Fact Checker: Walmart’s Community Meetings

Walmart Fact Checker Response to Washington Examiner Article

A handful of critics objecting to a new Walmart store in Washington, D.C. are claiming that we only held one meeting with neighborhood residents to discuss the proposed project.

But Walmart has attended 11 meetings since February 2011 that would have involved residents within proximity to Georgia Avenue – the site of our new store. Nine of the meetings were hosted by Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 4B.

Here’s a list of the meetings we attended with neighborhood members (this list obviously doesn’t include other local meetings like those with the Emory Beacon of Light or the recent CBE vendor fair):

  1. 25-Aug-12: 6 Month Moratorium Cookout/Supplies Giveaway – Cease Fire
  2. 23-Jul-12: ANC 4B Monthly Meeting
  3. 16-Jun-12: Brightwood Day 2012 – Brightwood Community Association
  4. 23-Apr-12: ANC 4B Hearing
  5. 27-Feb-12: ANC 4B Monthly Meeting
  6. 11-Jan-12: ANC 4B Monthly Meeting
  7. 28-Nov-11: ANC 4B Monthly Meeting
  8. 20-Jun-11: ANC 4B Commissioners Dinner
  9. 12-May-11: ANC 4B Monthly Meeting
  10. 4-May-11: ANC 4B01 (Sarah Green) and 4B02 (Faith Wheeler)
  11. 1-Feb-11: ANC 4B06 (Gloria Palmer)

 

Unfortunately, our opponents’ misinformation campaign directly impacts community members who stand to benefit most from a new Walmart store – thousands of residents hoping to apply for jobs, dozens of local businesses that would participate in the store construction, and hundreds of thousands of residents looking for quality and affordable groceries.

As the Washington Examiner reported, the proposed Walmart store in D.C. “is expected to generate 300 jobs and $2 million in annual tax revenue for the District.”

Based on the facts, it’s clear that those seeking to block our new store need to offer a better explanation as to why they’re choosing to get in the way of such benefits to D.C. residents.

 

A case against the case against Walmart

As people crowded into local D.C. grocery stores last weekend, gobbling up a limited supply of water and canned goods in preparation for Hurricane Irene, some may have found themselves pining for the open aisles, vast selection, and efficient check-out operation offered by Walmart.

These shoppers may get their wish in time for next year’s hurricane season, as the retail giant has announced plans to open four stores in the District starting in 2012.

A coalition of labor unions and advocacy groups calling itself “Living Wages, Healthy Communities” has staked out opposition to this plan, arguing that the big-box behemoth claims jobs, reduces wages and destroys communities. Research suggests that these claims are little more than myths.

Read more in The Washington Examiner

 

The Vocal Minority Rallies…Again.

While Walmart was at the Washington Navy Yard today to talk about the economy and solutions for our veterans a few local union front groups were repeating the same urban legends, thumbing their nose at public opinion and rallying to block jobs and low prices from some of the people who need them most.

We found this claim to be particularly curious:  “Wal-Mart is planning to open four stores in Washington, D.C., but the retailer hasn’t met with community members to talk about standards for respecting workers and the neighborhoods.”

The fact is, we’ve already participated in more than 60 open community forums across wards 4, 5, 6 and 7, not to mention countless discussions and meetings with elected officials, stakeholders and decision-makers here in the city.  We’ve also met with representatives from the Washington Council, AFL-CIO, Laborers International Union of North America, Mid Atlantic Region Council of Carpenters, Teamsters, SEIU and local UFCW Local 400.

Not only is the DC customer voice on this issue clear, but our level of engagement with the community is indisputable.  We look forward to continuing the conversation with the city as we get closer to opening our first four stores in Washington, D.C.