July 17, 2013

Mayor Vincent Gray
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 316
Washington, D.C. 20004

Dear Mayor Gray:

As you gather the relevant information for your decision on the Large Retailer Accountability Act (passed by the D.C. Council which would require big box stores pay a $12.50 (minus benefits) minimum wage) please consider one reply to Walmart’s arrogant assertion of its indispensability in certain areas of the District of Columbia. I refer to the services offered by the National Cooperative Bank (NCB) which we pressed through Congress in 1978.

The NCB’s mission is to offer loans and technical assistance to start consumer cooperatives. Indeed the NCB is committed to serving low-income communities and has helped build retail and housing cooperatives in underserved areas.

Over the years, the NCB’s supply of loan capacity and technical assistance has not been tapped as fully as is possible – in part because few city officials around the country have heard of its mission and its unique availability. The NCB’s offices are at 2001 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Suite 625. It is worthwhile for you and/or your staff to visit their staff and determine what the NCB could do to help create modern retail cooperatives in the District.

I am sure that Charles E. Snyder the president of the NCB would be delighted to see you and discuss possibilities in the areas that the bullying Walmart is threatening to withdraw from unless the D.C. government surrenders to an unreasonable corporate ultimatum. With another announced $15 billion Walmart stock buyback over three years (enough to give $7000 each year to each of its associates) and with Walmart’s CEO, Mike Duke, making $11,000 an hour or nearly $200 a minute, Walmart’s lord of the manor attitude is medieval and intolerable in 2013.

Please call me if you wish to discuss the above or any other related Walmart matter before your decision to reject Walmart’s demands that you veto the Large Retailer Accountability Act.

Thank you.

Sincerely yours,

Ralph Nader

TimeForARaise.org

CC: Chairman Phil Mendelson
Members of the D.C. City Council