Sunday 24 September 2023

Democratic Mayor Proposes Government-Owned Grocery Store For ‘Racial Justice’

 Chicago’s Democratic mayor has announced a partnership with a far-left non-profit to advance his proposal of a government-owned grocery store, which he argues is needed for the sake of “racial justice.”

Mayor Brandon Johnson said in a press release this month that the city-owned grocery store — which would be the largest of its kind in the U.S. — is needed to address the exit of corporate grocery stores and promote “food equity.”

“[F]ood access and security link directly to environmental and racial justice,” Johnson’s office said in a press release, adding that “37% of Black residents and 29% of Latine/x residents are food insecure, compared to 19% of residents overall.”

The mayor’s office argued that “historic disinvestment has led to inequitable access to food retail across Chicago,” and noted that “existing inequities have been exacerbated as at least six grocery stores closed on the South and West sides over the past two years.”

Indeed, as Chicago continues to reel with violent crime and large-scale theft, corporate grocery stores like Walmart and Amazon-owned Whole Foods have recently packed up and left Chicago.

Walmart announced the closure of four stores in Chicago’s South and West Side neighborhoods back in April, and said it was due to a lack of profitability going back 17 years when the company first opened in Chicago. “These stores lose tens of millions of dollars a year, and their annual losses nearly doubled in just the last five years,” the press release said.

The statement did not specifically mention shoplifting, which has jumped in Chicago by 25% over just the last year. However, Walmart’s CEO Doug McMillon did warn last year that if shoplifting across the country didn’t slow down, he’d have to shut down some stores.

Johnson has promoted a community safety team to try to tackle crime, but that, so far, has been unsuccessful. He’s even resorted to suing car companies because of the outrageous auto thefts in the city — a move heavily criticized.


The city has yet to provide an exact estimate for the price tag of something like a city-owned grocery store, but it is notable that the mayor announced just this month that the city is projecting a deficit of $538 million dollars for this upcoming fiscal year.

The mayor’s chief of policy, Umi Grisby, has claimed that this project won’t use taxpayer dollars, though she admitted the city would use state and federal funding.

“We are not spending any taxpayer dollars, right?” she told CBS Chicago. “What we’re also going to be able to access is the funding that exists at the national level and the state level.”

Moreover, the mayor’s office has already acknowledged that this project, if completed, will also use economic grant money, which, too, comes from taxpayers.

Critics have said this grocery store proposal is akin to “Soviet-style central planning.” Detractors have also highlighted the city’s penchant for corruption and the city’s half-a-billion dollar deficit to question how the store could be efficient. There are also still questions about how prices would be set, how this would be superior to private grocery stores, and how it would affect private enterprise.

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