No 7-Eleven on Avenue A

Random thoughts on the planned 7-Eleven on Avenue A:

A group of people put together a Twitter page:

No7ElevenNYC_Twitter

The community character is the gentrified character that has developed since the 1980s. The leaders of this effort are small business owners. I understand that they’re acting in their self-interest — that’s what people do. But the question arises: Is this something I want to be involved in?

It’s not gentrification that’s being protested. It’s gentrification — in a crystallized form — that’s being preserved!

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On January 26, 2013, someone smashed the window of the 7-Eleven on St. Mark’s Place. No7ElevenNYC claims it was not one of them, because a witness stated the culprit looked like a “crazy street person.” How does this exonerate them?

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I agree that franchise store-fronts look bad, no matter which franchise it is. But I also know that the employees of franchises are paid more, and are more likely to qualify for health insurance benefits, have better safety regulations, and are in a position to organize, and that the employees of so-called Mom-and-Pop stores do not. But this is how employees are viewed in this discussion:

evg-anti-worker

evg-711-workers

The term Mom-and-Pop itself does not describe most of the stores being discussed. It’s an romanticized description that’s more in line with the Norman-Rockwellesque middle-America that the No 7-Eleven people claim to reject.

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They’re organizing a “bodega walk” for this Saturday, February 2. I want to go along, but I have other things to do. I will conduct my own bodega walk some time in the near future.

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evg-progressive

It’s ridiculous that this effort is hailed as being in the “spirit of the East Village”. People in the “East Village” organized to demand jobs, to demand affordable housing, to stop evictions. These people are organizing to stop overpriced stores from having to compete with 7-Eleven. To maintain the “culture” of the East Village: a culture where shop owners pay undocumented immigrants less than minimum wage, in cash so there’s no evidence of their employment, where if the employee complains they’re fired, with no recourse. It’s not the culture of the “East Village,” it’s the culture of the shopkeeper! I can’t wait until the “spirit of the East Village” is invoked to oppose increases in the minimum wage!

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: The Day | Kushner Buys More Buildings - The Local East Village Blog - NYTimes.com

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