After significant community input, Portland City Council announced this week that it will discontinue support for chain superstore Walmart within its city limits. In a statement released the city cites concerns over labor and ethical practices observed in the company, likely in reference to the ongoing nationwide debate over minimum and living wages for workers.
"We don’t want our money to be saying things that are at cross purposes with values we profess everyday" said Commissioner Steve Novick in a statement to The New York Times Sunday, citing the city's progressive political views at both the elected positions and within the citizenry. He went on to say “Right off the bat, we knew we were comfortable putting them on the do-not-buy list based on information that is widely, publicly available."
This isn't the first big announcement on Walmart the city has made this year. Back in October the city council approved a plan that would put an end to the acceptance of new bonds from the city, which the city has invested several million in taxpayer dollars in thus far. Once those investments have been paid off, the city will refrain from investing any further in the company.
This decision is the fruit of a plan to create a list of businesses the city deems outside of the city's values, with Walmart being the first and so far only member to make the list. No word has been released yet as to what other businesses are being considered for being added to the list. When the cities bond holdings in Walmart expire in 2016, it will mark the end of $36 million in investments the city have made in the company to date.