On March 12th, 19,916 voters in Mesa, Arizona voted in favor of Proposition 300 — to approve the city council’s 4- to 3 vote earlier in favor of changing existing zoning laws to allow a Wal-Mart superstore to be built on a 35-acre lot near the city’s airport. We indicated last month that Wal-Mart has spent at least $84,000 to fund its own astro-roots group called the Voters for a Better Mesa, and they got a “better” outcome for the corporation, walking away with 67% of the vote. 9,831 residents voted against “down-zoning” the industrial land to commercial. This vote caps a 4 year effort by Wal-Mart to get into Mesa, and indicates that money helps buy sprawl. Opponents said it was foolish to use industrial land for retail purposes, hoping for a “better” economic payoff for the valuable location. But now the land has been dedicated to sprawl. Corporate democracy put Mesa up for sale to the highest bidder.
For more history on the “Money Buys Mesa” Wal-Mart battle, search this database by “Mesa” and contact [email protected] for local contacts.