Recap of the Initiative Petition
Keep Keizer Livable launched an initiative petition limiting where large format stores can be located in Keizer. Below is a synopsis of the petition drive as summed up at the Keizer City Council meeting on October 18, 2010. Unfortunately, the initiative failed in a special election by 34 votes. Thank you, everyone, for all of your support!
As you know, we organized as a community group around three years ago when Keizer’s planning commission and city council were considering a proposal to remove the cap on the size of retail buildings in mixed-use areas throughout Keizer. Hundreds of local residents wrote emails and letters, signed petitions and attended and testified at hearings. In spite of overwhelming public opposition to the proposal, the council voted to make the change in Keizer’s development code.
After much consideration and discussion, we decided to launch a petition to get an initiative on the ballot. The text of the initiative says “No retail building larger than 65,000 square feet can he built anywhere in Keizer except for Area A of Keizer Station” and goes on to define Area A as being the area around where the Lowes and Target are currently located.
We filed the official paperwork on July 21st and received the approval to start
collecting signatures on August 18th. State law allows local petitions up to two years to collect signatures. However, Keizer passed an ordinance in the 1980s that limits the collection period to 90 days after the original filing. The built in approval process time period ate up 30 percent of the 90 days and left us 61 days to collect signatures.
Local petitions need the signatures of 15 percent of the registered voters to reach the ballot. In our case we needed 2,739 valid signatures. This afternoon we turned in 3,765 signatures that we’ve gathered over the past 60 days - 1000 over the required minimum.
Frankly, the response that we’ve had to the petition has been somewhat overwhelming. We’ve had more then 75 folks in retirement homes from McNary Estates, local business owners, neighbors, friends and local unions out collecting signatures. We’ve had people emailing us, calling us at home, stopping us on the street and coming by the Keep Keizer Livable office to sign.
We’ve talked to a lot of people, made many new friends and learned a lot about our community. Keizer residents have a huge amount of frustration with the city staff and city council. We heard over and over from folks who feel that their voices are not heard.
The choice of what happens now with this initiative is up to you. State law requires that you consider adopting it without spending money on a special election. We suggest before you make any decisions, you take the time to get out and talk to people. Not the same circle of groups that you’re usually involved with—neighborhood associations, service clubs, Chamber of Commerce, etc., but go knock on doors. Visit people you don’t know. Hear what Keizerites have to say about our great community and listen to what their vision and struggles are.
Although this has been a lot of work and we’ve invested a lot of time and energy, we’re grateful that we’ve had the opportunity to listen to so many of our neighbors. Now it’s your turn.
No, We Don't Want a Big Box Store MP3 by Curt McCormack
Keizer Comp Plan KeizerStationPlan
Keizer Station Recap
Mixed Use Research Mixed Use Comparisons
Impact on Local Businesses
Links for Additional Information
Wake up Wal Mart.com Big Box Tool Kit.com
Wal Mart Watch Research Center National Trust.org
Institute for Local Self Reliance Shils Report
City Tax Revenue
A study compared the tax revenue and the costs of public services associated with various types of development projects in Barnstable, Massachusetts. It found that big-box retail developments cost more than the revenues they generated, producing an annual net loss of $468 per 1,000 square feet. While the city gained revenues through property and sales taxes, these were outweighed by expenditures including the costs of general government and public works.
In a study of over 3,000 counties, researchers found that counties with more Wal-Mart stores had a larger increase (or a smaller reduction) in the poverty rate between 1987 and 1999 than did counties with fewer or no Wal-Mart stores. Controlling for factors such as education, employment rates and population, the study also found that an additional Wal-Mart store was correlated with a statistically significant 0.2 percentage point increase in the county poverty rate. The authors conclude that the presence of Wal-Mart unequivocally raised family poverty rates in U.S. counties during the 1990s relative to places that had no such stores. The authors hypothesize that the increase in poverty rates can partly be explained by displaced workers going to work at Wal-Mart for lower wages.
The Cost of Wal-Mart's entry into a community can be significant
Lower wages mean less money for communities
Wal-Mart's growth negatively impact worker's wages
Wal-Mart hurts other businesses when it comes to town.
Wal-Mart destroys the environment
Wal-Mart increases vehicle traffic
A Substantial Number of Wal-Mart Associates earn far below the poverty line
Wal-Mart's Health Care Spending Falls Below Industry Standards
Wal-Mart Covers Less of the Health Care Costs Compared to Its Competitors
Wal-Mart Admits Public Health Care is a "Better Value"
Your tax dollars pay for Wal-Mart's greed