We received this letter to the editor about Walmart:
First off, I want to express my gratitude to Dan for allowing me this opportunity to announce my grassroots campaign to bring Walmart to Gerritsen Beach/Sheepshead Bay area. He does a lot of great things for the community I hope he keeps up the good work for years to come. First off let me start by saying that we were all saddened by the announcement of the closing of Pathmark located on 3785 Nostrand Avenue, this closing will have a deep affect on the community with the loss of jobs and a place to shop. I have read that officials from Representative Anthony Weiner’s office have sent out letters to Stop & Shop, White Rose, D’Agostino Supermarkets, Key Food, and Whole Foods to open another supermarket in this location. However in these tough times, most of these stores listed probably do not have the capital to open a new store. As you probably know already, Walmart is currently looking to open up in locations in New York City, I believe this location on Nostrand Avenue will be a perfect location for Walmart. Walmart is the only company I believe has the capital to open up a new store in these tough times. I believe Sheepshead/Gerritsen and the surrounding area needs Walmart, and Walmart needs Sheepshead/Gerritsen.
The obvious reason to bring Walmart into the community is jobs and low prices that Walmart provides. Walmart transforms communities into better places then they were before, I ask you to watch the Chicago Walmart video that I have embedded below, it will show you how Walmart has transformed the community and has made it a way better place, a true success story. Walmart stores do not put small stores out of business, they are in fact magnets for growth and development. Businesses that can diversify themselves can take advantage of the customer activity that comes with a Walmart in the community. One stat from the video is that when Walmart entered the community it created 726 jobs in the area, through 320 Walmart jobs and 406 jobs created by competitors that entered in the area. However 298 jobs were lost but 726 jobs were created. My goal would be to have Walmart set aside a certain amount of jobs to the people in the neighboring ZIP codes of 11235, 11229 and others. Also I would like to see Walmart employ neighborhood youth with the location’s close proximity to local high schools such as Sheepshead Bay High School, James Madison High School, and St. Edmund Preparatory High School just to name a few. Walmart would create great after school jobs for students from these schools. Not only will students benefit from after-school jobs, the school themselves will benefit when Walmart gives back to the community.
If these kids went to work at the local supermarket they would be making minimum wage, far less than what Walmart pays. The average salary for the part-time retail cashier at Walmart is $8.88 an hour (The average salary for a fulltime retail associate in New York State is a $13.09 an hour), which is $1.63 higher than $7.25, minimum wage. Not only will people be making a higher salary, they will also have a chance to advance in the company, I ask you to watch “William’s Story”, one of the videos embedded below, it is about how an hourly retail associate was promoted to department manager in several months, a stat from the video is: Last year Walmart promoted more than 138,000 of their hourly associates in its U.S. stores. This goes to show if you work hard you can advance in the company, Walmart then promoted William again, and later gave him a grant to pay for his college education. Now ask yourself this, if your children worked at Stop & Shop, and really worked hard, would Stop & Shop pay for their college education? I don’t think so.
Walmart not only offers career advancement to employees who work hard, but they offer great benefits too. I ask you to watch the video “Janet’s Story” which I have embedded below. On their medical coverage they offer a copay of only $4 on more than 2,000 generic drugs. You can find more information on benefits Walmart provides its employees on this website, http://walmartstores.com/careers/7750.aspx. I ask you to watch “Noemi’s Story”, which I have embedded below, through working at Walmart she was able to get off food stamps and buy her own home, her son has followed in her footsteps and now works at Walmart.
Prices at Walmart are low, and who doesn’t like low prices? One example was when I was upstate at Walmart, I bought Ocean Spray 100% Cranberry Juice at a price of $2.78, if I went into Pathmark right now, that same size bottle would cost me around $4.79. They also provide fresh fruits and vegetables in their stores at affordable prices. Yes, Whole Foods will bring fresh fruit and vegetables but the area will not be able to afford the prices that Whole Foods will offer. But the area will be able to afford Walmarts prices. New York City needs more non-union stores like Walmart who provide wages and great benefits to their employees while still providing the customer with low prices that they want. In this situation everyone wins.
Walmart will bring the two things that are needed most in these tough times, jobs and they will also bring low prices. Walmart will also offer a pharmacy to provide prescription medication for low costs to its consumers, it is truly a one stop shop. I am sure the Gerritsen and Sheepshead will welcome Walmart with open arms. If you aren’t sold already on bringing Walmart to the Pathmark location please visithttp://www.walmartnyc.com/ this site will provide you with information I may not have answered for you. You can also visit their Facebook page athttp://www.facebook.com/walmartNYC. I will start a Facebook page with the campaign very soon. I hope you will join with me in this grassroots campaign to bring Walmart to the Pathmark location.