A Chicago Zoning Comittee hearing to consider a proposed plan to build a Wal-Mart on the city's South Side is
being put off
until May. Committee Chairman Daniel Solis (25th Ward) said that the
will take place in time to be included on the City Council's May 12th
agenda if it gets enough votes during today's committee meeting. Solis
cited the amount of interest in the proposal as the reason for the
delay: "We expect it could take some time, and I wanted to make
sure to give ample time to hear from everyone involved."
Last Friday, Chicago Tonight's "Week In Review" show kicked off with a discussion of the ongoing Wal-Mart debate at City Hall. Watch it:
Unfortunately this discussion missed an important new component of the debate: the ordinance championed by the Good Jobs Chicago coalition and introduced Wednesday by Ald. Freddrenna Lyle
(6th Ward). Unlike previous attempts to address Wal-Mart's race-to-the-bottom wages, this measure doesn't direcly target the mega-retailer or big-box stores in general. Rather, it's living wage requirements apply to companies with a payroll exceeding 50
people that "receive financial assistance" from the city -- such as tax increment financing (TIF) subsidies. The ordinance represents an opportunity to have a broader discussion about what the city's residents are willing to demand in return for all the tax dollars we send back to local companies. But that conversation can't happen if outlets like WTTW ignore it.
If a newly-introduced ordinance passes the Chicago City Council, companies who accept any public subsidy from the city -- including tax increment financing dollars -- would required to pay their workers a living wage.