After more than 100 uninvited community members expressed intentions to attend an exclusive breakfast with Walmart executives yesterday, there was a last minute location change from the Lindenwood Diner to a private office building on Atlantic Avenue and Eastern Parkway.
“If they want to hear from the community, then why am I not in there?” asked one Community Board 5 member. “I was not invited. I went inside and they wouldn’t let me in.”
As reported earlier this week, Walmart hosted an invitation-only breakfast for East New York, Brooklyn local leaders as part of its efforts to gather community support for a Walmart store in the neighborhood. Most of the several dozen invitees, such as clergy or community board members, either support the project or are undecided, while those who have been openly critical of the proposal were not invited.
At the two-hour meeting, Walmart was asked to raise its $8 dollar hourly rate for employees to $13 dollars and hire at least half of its staff from East New York.
“If [Walmart's] going to be in the East New York community, we don’t want to be looking in from the outside,” Community Board 5 chairman Nathan Bradley said. [NYDN]