Wal-mart pushes for store on South Side

July 25, 2009 (CHICAGO) Supporters say a store at 83rd Street and Stewart would provide residents of the Chatham neighborhood with fresh food and jobs.

However, opponents believe Wal-mart could force smaller, locally owned businesses to close. They also are concerned that Wal-Mart would not hire people from the community.

The Chicago city council would have to approve an ordinance to allow the store to be built.

Ald. Howard Brookins of the city's 21st Ward said the proposed site has been vacant for several years, not contributing anything to the city or the neighborhood.

"There are people out there that say they'd rather see the people that are working out there now, which is nobody, than to see people working at Wal-mart. It is ludicrous. It makes no sense whatsoever," said Brookins.

Opponents held a rally Saturday and passed out flyers.

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