Once upon a time, before the Chicagoans were debating the merits of the Olympics coming to the city, they were debating the merits of a second Wal-Mart coming to the city.
That debate should heat up again now that the bid is over and Alderman Howard Brookins (21st Ward) is again pushing for a Wal-Mart at 83rd and Stewart in Chatham.
"The Olympics were a side show to my cause and an excuse for many to say, 'We ought to put this off so that we can have peace with the unions,'" said Brookins, who vowed to “hound” Finance Committee Chairman Edward M. Burke until a hearing is called, to the Sun-Times.
“Now that those union workers aren't gonna be employed building these fabulous buildings all over the city, at least this is some immediate help for those local tradesmen. . . . And it's a tremendous help to stop the leaking that continues to plague our city with people going to the suburbs looking for a bargain."
Burke said he would have to confer with Brookins before asking for the meeting.
But the Wal-Mart question should come as no surprise to Burke.
This summer Burke and Ald. Richard Mell (33rd), the Rules Committee chairman, delayed a vote on the Wal-Mart until after the Olympic decision.
But now that the IOC has chosen Rio de Janeiro to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, Brookins said there are "no more excuses" for putting the brick on Wal-Mart.
The Council's 2004 vote to approve Wal-Mart's first and only store in Austin gave birth to the big-box minimum wage ordinance snuffed out by Daley's first and only veto.