Category Archives: Personal Stories

Why I Think the Wal-Mart Expansion Is BAD for Milpitas

Click here to listen to eight Coalition supporters discuss why they oppose the Wal-Mart expansion.

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Guest: Art Balangue with his perspective

photo of art

Art, in front of Save Mart

My name is Art Balangue. I work at the Save Mart in Calaveras Plaza center.

My 52 co-workers and I are worried. If the Planning Commission and City Council let Wal-Mart sell groceries, we could lose our jobs.

At Save Mart, I can earn a fair living. I’m not rich, but I can afford the things we all want for our families and ourselves.

If my store closes, I can’t go work at Wal-Mart. Those jobs are part-time.  Hours vary week to week and almost never add up to 40 hours per week. Plus, Wal-Mart pay much less than what I make now; certainly not enough to support a family.  Plus, they offer no benefits.

Given these facts, what would do? Would you trade your job to work for less money per hour, fewer hours, and no health insurance?

Help me and my co-workers keep the jobs we have. Say no to the Wal-Mart expansion.

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Guest: Bill Ferguson with his perspective

Author Bill Ferguson

Bill Ferguson in front of the Milpitas Public Library

My name is Bill Ferguson. I’ve lived in Milpitas’ Sunnyhills Neighborhood for 11 years.

The Wal-Mart Expansion is bad for Milpitas.

A Wal-Mart Supercenter drains shoppers away from neighborhood grocery stores. This has been shown time and time again in other cities where Wal-Mart has been allowed to do as they like.

Imagine, if the nearby Save-Mart closes. There will be a ripple effect. Other stores in that shopping center will suffer and may close. Now, what if this also happens to other near-by shopping centers? Abandoned centers leave holes in the center of our town. They encourage neglect and invite crime. This is bad for us all.

Also, Wal-Mart says the expansion will create jobs. They don’t mention the decent jobs that will be lost. And, they don’t tell you Wal-Mart jobs are low paying, part time, and without benefits. Replacing decent jobs with Wal-Mart jobs is not good for Milpitas.

We can protect our town and our local businesses. We can say no to Wal-Mart.

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Guest: Rob Means with his perspective:

photo of small business owner

Rob Means in his Milpitas Small Business

My name is Rob Means. I’ve lived on Yellowstone Avenue in Milpitas since 1977.  For the past 13 years, I have owned and operated a small business, Electro Ride Bikes and Scooters, here in Milpitas.

I strongly oppose the Wal-Mart Expansion for many reasons including:

  1. I support locally owned business. It’s a proven fact dollars spent at local shops stay in a community longer, and provide jobs and economic opportunity for the people who live here in Milpitas. When we spend money at Wal-Mart, it leaves our city and heads straight to Arkansas and on to China. In a bad economy, let’s keep our money here improving Milpitas’ economy.
  2. I don’t believe in welfare for Wal-Mart. Because most Wal-Mart jobs pay low wages and don’t include benefits, California taxpayers pick up the tab to help Wal-Mart employees afford housing, healthcare, and more. I understand that tab averages out to $2000 per employee per year.  We pay for these programs, while Wal-Mart takes reaps huge profits.  That stinks!
  3. We don’t need another grocery store. A Wal-Mart Supercenter will take business away from existing neighborhood markets (like Save Mart, Nob Hill, and others).  Plus, being on the edge of town, it encourages people to drive – and to drive further – which increases traffic, green house gases, and unhealthy air pollution.

I’m convinced. A Wal-Mart Supercenter only benefits Wal-Mart’s bottom line.  It’s not good for the Milpitas economy, our citizens or our environment.
Please join me in saying No to the Wal-Mart expansion.

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