As a long time Vermonter, I have come to love rural life. It is the intimacy of knowing your neighbors, the local shop owners, farmers, teachers and community members that renders a trust that only small towns can facilitate. This trust is a part of all facets of life, including the way small businesses deliver their goods and services. By recognizing the farmer that sells you veggies, you can tell they take pride in their work. This mutual respect guarantees the highest quality. However, when big businesses- corporations- squeeze themselves into these communities, the damage is irreparable. I am asking you to sign my petition to stop Walmart from building a giant store in the town of Derby, Vermont. And this is why:
The biggest issue with Walmart is the price the surrounding community must pay. Studies have shown that with the introduction of these stores comes a higher crime rate. Governor Shumlin, who supports the development, argues that it will add 300 new jobs. But at what cost? Walmart would be pulling money out of the local economy, without putting a fraction of its profits back into the community. This puts small family owned businesses at risk of closing. It may provide these jobs at first, yet if money is being lost from the community, and businesses are forced to close their doors, the problem of unemployment is at the forefront once again.
Vermont has always prided itself on its pristine landscape. However, Walmart is known to produce its goods (almost exclusively) in China. This brings up human rights and moral issues associated with child labor, little pay, and poor/hazardous working conditions experienced by their overseas employees. The petroleum based products, once assembled, are then transported across the sea to distribution areas, and then trucked across the country. The carbon footprint is astounding, and the products cheap. Once broken, most end up in the landfill. By allowing Walmart to begin business, we would be encouraging the degradation of our state and earth. The social and environmental strain on Derby should also be considered. With a superstore comes expansive parking lots, and roads once built to accommodate local traffic are suddenly congested with many from surrounding areas drawn in by the ‘cheap’ prices. The social and infrastructural toll is unknown, and supposedly will be ‘investigated’ before construction.
I am asking you to sign this petition to preserve the rural intimacy, the trust that is also the basis of the local economy. When this is interrupted, the crime rate, unemployment and environmental degradation all increase. Please help me tell Governor Peter Shumlin to stand with Vermonters, instead of with the faceless, nameless corporation that has no interest in the community it inhabits.
Governor Peter Shumlin’s Contact Information:
109 State Street, Pavilion
Montpelier, VT 05609
Phone: 802 828-3333
TTY: 800 649-6825
Fax: 802 828-3339