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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

What Makes a Food Desert?


So I see this commercial on Hulu quite frequently, warning about food deserts--that is, areas (rural or urban) where there is limited local access to healthy foods. Basically, a lack of grocery stores selling fresh produce and meat. I always tell my kids that liberals are what make food deserts. Which brings me to this story from Ricochet about "community organizers" driving Trader Joe's out of an area of Portland:
Trader Joe’s wanted to build a new store in Portland, Oregon. Instead of heading to a tony neighborhood downtown or towards the suburbs, the popular West Coast grocer chose a struggling area of Northeast Portland.

The company selected two acres along Martin Luther King Blvd. that had been vacant for decades. It seemed like the perfect place to create jobs, improve customer options and beautify the neighborhood. City officials, the business community, and residents all seemed thrilled with the plan. Then some community organizers caught wind of it.

The fact that most members of the Portland African-American Leadership Forum didn’t live in the neighborhood was beside the point. ...

After a few months of racially tinged accusations and angry demands, Trader Joe’s decided it wasn’t worth the hassle. ... “If a neighborhood does not want a Trader Joe's, we understand, and we won't open the store in question.”

Hours after Trader Joe’s pulled out, PAALF leaders arrived at a previously scheduled press conference trying to process what just happened. The group re-issued demands that the now-cancelled development include affordable housing, mandated jobs based on race, and a small-business slush fund. Instead, the only demand being met is two fallow acres and a lot of anger from the people who actually live nearby.
People who actually lived in the neighborhood are angry because the store would have improved the neighborhood, helped other neighborhood businesses by increasing traffic to the area, and provided jobs. As an added twist of irony, the store was going to be built by a local African American-owned construction company.

What would be really hilarious is if the construction company filed a lawsuit against PAALF for intentional interference with a contract or prospective economic advantage.

(H/t Instapundit)

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