On Wednesday a vote is scheduled to take place in Chicago's City Council on the Chicago "Big Box Living Wage" ordinance.
Ald. Joe Moore, a two-year opponent of Wal-Mart and other "big box" stores, is the sponsor of the ordinance.
Supporters of the bill include the usual suspects: unions and the far left. Opponents include business leaders, as well as African-American community and church leaders.
Before becoming an alderman, Moore was an attorney for the City. He has no experience in retail.
Yesterday morning, I drove down Howard street to take a look at the Gateway Shopping Center, a project that was built at the inspiration of Alderman Moore, who helped grease things along by using the power of eminent domain to get the place built.
Driving west on Howard from Sheridan Road, I notice quite a few empty store fronts on Howard east of Gateway. West of Gateway too.
Arriving at the shopping center, I noticed, it does look pretty nice. A non-big box discounter, probably not union, Marshall's is there. Grocer Dominick's has a store, and yes, they're union.
But among the smaller units there, set aside for specialty outlets, about one-third sit empty. Gateway opened in 2000.
Now that "expert" in retail, Joe Moore, wants to tell the rest of Chicago how retail businesses should operate in the City.
For those readers living outside of Chicago, a quick lesson in how things are done in the Second City is needed. There's a "gentleman's agreement" among the Chicago's fifty alderman that the council member representing the ward, using--or shall I say, abusing zoning laws, exerts enormous power on what is built---or not built--in their ward.
Oh, the picture was taken Sunday morning in front of one of the many vacant store lots at Gateway. Call the number listed if you need retail space in Chicago's Rogers Park community.
Thanks for the link:
Rogers Park Bench
Technorati tags: Wal-Mart Chicago Illinois business retail politics Target Home Depot Illinois Politics Joe Moore big box