Update: KPPC FM’s Hayley Fox reports that L.A. City Councilwoman and mayoral candidate Jan Perry is also declining Walmart campaign funds.
Los Angeles’ two top mayoral candidates announced Thursday they will not accept campaign contributions from Walmart, which is locked in a battle with community and labor groups over the retail giant’s plans to open a 3300-square-foot grocery store in Chinatown.
The pledges by L.A. City Councilman Eric Garcetti and his chief opponent, City Controller Wendy Greuel, bring new focus to Saturday’s protest march and rally against Walmart. Both candidates have endorsed the June 30 action.
“Los Angeles loses if we run a race to the bottom in terms of wages and working conditions,” Garcetti said. “Our economy needs good middle class jobs to get back on track, and that’s what we should be working toward.”
The two candidates urged other elected politicians to also refuse money from Walmart. The councilman and controller noted Walmart’s documented abuse of its employees and the corrosive economic effects the arrival of the company’s stores have on communities. Besides Chinatown, Walmart has plans to insert its outlets in a number of Los Angeles County communities.
“For far too long corporations like Walmart have been getting special treatment, while middle-class families have been struggling in this tough economy and bearing the brunt of the tax burden,” said Greuel.
Greuel and Garcetti join U.S. Congresswoman Judy Chu, who earlier this month pledged never to take Walmart money.
“We as elected officials need to make it crystal clear that we will not stand for this attack on our workers and our neighborhoods,” said Chu. “And what better way to do that than for us…to turn down Walmart’s money?”