One day after the San Diego City Council repealed its ordinance to block Wal-Mart supercenters, State Sen. Juan Vargas has taken up the cause. Vargas announced he is introducing his own bill to make opening Wal-Mart supercenters more difficult, pleasing his labor union backers who oppose Wal-Mart.
The bill requires an economic impact analysis of the effect of such supercenters on the neighborhood. From Vargas’ press release, as provided by the San Diego Union-Tribune:
“Small and neighborhood businesses are the backbone of every local economy,” said Senator Juan Vargas, D-San Diego. “The public deserves the right to know what will happen to these businesses before a superstore developer comes into a community and potentially puts these businesses and the entire local economy at risk. While not banning superstores outright, this bill will create the transparency that local communities need to make sure corporations that want to build and operate these giant big-box businesses don’t harm existing businesses, jobs, public services and neighborhoods.”
“The bill will be modeled after the City of San Diego’s Ordinance to Protect Small and Neighborhood Businesses, which was supported by a coalition of small business, labor leaders and environmentalists. The policy would allow the public to learn about the potential impacts of the Superstore on other retail options in the area, as well effects on housing, parks, traffic and other impacts. Immediately after the San Diego City Council passed the ordinance, Wal-Mart waged a multimillion-dollar campaign to intimidate the City Council into repealing the policy.”
If the anti-Wal-Mart bill passes, any bets on whether there’ll be an initiative campaign to repeal it?