Twenty-six of the 51 members of the New York City Council have written a letter to Walmart and the Walton Family Foundation demanding that the company stop making donations to New York City charities. “Stop sending your dangerous dollars in our city,” the letter orders. “Your toxic money is being rejected by New York City today.”
Walmart donated $3 million to charities in the city last year, it announced last week. These donations go to groups like the New York Women’s Foundation (which received $1 million) and Bailey House, an organization that brings groceries to low-income city residents.
The city-council members see these donations as a scheme to gain entry into the city’s market, from which it has been blocked by union opposition. “We know how desperate you are to find a foothold in New York City to buy influence and support here,” the members write.
Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito called the donations “toxic money” and accused Walmart of waging a “cynical public-relations campaign that disguises Walmart’s backwards anti-job agenda.”
Walmart said that their charitable efforts “can make a difference on big issues like hunger relief and career development.”
City-council members also have a particular issue with the Waltons’ philanthropy: They and their company have given $16 million in donations to charter schools since 2004, according to the New York Post. This was directly referenced in the letter, which stated: “We have seen your growing but quiet efforts to bankroll the privatization of public education in New York City and to invest in conservative organizations here that are actively working to undermine the progressive agenda we support.”
Fox News’s Neil Cavuto interviewed New York City councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who defended the anti-Walmart campaign: