Community leader upset with Walmart agreement

A community leader is upset at D.C. politicians for signing and agreement with Walmart before the retail giant moves to the city.


(Photo: Associated Press)

Baruti Jahi represents a group of neighbors and is running for D.C. council next year.

“Vincent Gray is selling out the city to the highest bidder. Muriel Bowser is selling out the city to the highest bidder. They are not representing the best interest of ward 4 and the District of Columbia,” Jahi said.

Walmart agreed to give $21 million to local charities, $2 million to build bus stops and bike share stands, host job fairs to hire out of work Washingtonians. It also said it would not sell guns or ammunition.

Walmart signed the agreement voluntarily, and Jahi claims the retailer has not kept previous agreements with other areas.

City leaders dispute that, pointing to other agreements the store made with the city.

"We know what Walmart's track record has been with what they've already done for the city and we're confident they'll follow through on this agreement,” a spokesman for the deputy mayor's office of planning and economic development said.

But the problem, Jahi says, it that the agreement is essentially unenforceable.

“The bottom line is if they don't live up to their end of the bargain, there's nothing that can be done. So in essence, it's not an agreement, it's a concession,” Jahi said.