Thursday, April 29, 2010

GOP Gov Candidate Bill Brady Calls on Gov Quinn to Back Building of Walmart SuperStore on Chicago's Southside


CHICAGO -- Bill Brady continued his campaign against "food deserts" today, again saying that Governor Pat Quinn should speak out firmly to allow a job-creating Wal-Mart in the Pullman neighborhood of Chicago.

Brady has long been a voice to bring opportunity to food deserts in Chicago, introducing legislation on the issue last May and visiting hard hit areas. A vote on the Pullman project is expected in the city zoning commission next week.

"Whose side is the governor on?" Brady asked. "Instead of trying to raise our taxes, he should be standing up for raised opportunity. And I support those who understand that one of the most effective anti-violence programs is jobs."

Last week, Brady noted the significant campaign contributions that Quinn has taken from the major opponents of the Wal-Mart project.

Last May, Brady, a State Senator and candidate for governor, introduced legislation that would prevent municipalities from blocking the construction so-called big-box stores. He has also visited an area in the Chatham neighborhood to show his support for a proposed Wal-Mart there.

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and Alderman Anthony Beale (9th) support the Pullman Wal-Mart. It would be located in Beale's community. Many local residents and leaders have also spoken out in support, and the the Chicago Tribune has editorialized in favor of the project. News reports today say unions and Wal-Mart will be meeting to talk about ways to go forward with the project.

"It couldn't be more timely for the governor to speak up. Public officials must not stand as an obstacle between hard-working people and the places they want to work and shop," Brady said. "The governor's vocal support could help move this forward. If we are serious about combating unemployment and violence, let's let people work."

According to reports, the ward is facing 30% unemployment. The project, which awaits approval from the zoning commission and city council, would create almost 4,000 jobs, including about 780 unionized construction workers. The store would then hire nearly 700 employees.

"Like the mayor and alderman, I believe we should support opportunity in a place where so many people are now unemployed," Brady said. "I hope Pat Quinn strongly agrees."

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