Thursday, November 29, 2007

Kroger Boycott = Symbolic Protest

The paper reports the black ministers are organizing a citywide boycott of Kroger. One of the comments is that there are a lot of senior citizens in the area without cars, so not having a grocery will be a hardship:

“…The coalition says the area is saturated with senior citizens who do not have the means to drive to another store…”.

Taking a look at census tracts immediately around the store, 38, 39, and 44, which are Westwood and Residence Park, one sees that there seems to be a lot of people 65 or older, and that this is increasing (based on the comparison with the 1990 census):

...............1990 Census..... 2000 Census
Tract 38:... 763... 15.0%...... 771... 17.6%

Tract 39: ... 719... 18.1% .....660... 19.5%

Tract 44:... 476... 15.2% .... 524....19.8%

Total: 1,955 senior citizens for 2000

We also know there is a problem with carlessness in the area, which probably extends beyond the senior citizen population..

Percent of of housing units without access to a vehicle:

Tract 38: 23.4%

Tract 39: 22.0%

Tract 44: 20.0%

So maybe the ministers have a point.

But I think they take a symbolic way out of the issue with this Kroger boycott.

I wonder if there a more difficult, yet more constructive strategy? One that would confront the neglect shown by city government toward poorer areas like West Dayton in favor of facilitating things like Ballpark Village and that Wayne & Wyoming Kroger,.

One way would be to advocate a centrally located shopping area rather than one on just one side of town or another (like a shopping center, or even reviving a large scale market like the ones in Detroit and Cleveland or Findlay Market in Cincy).

Another would be finding ways of enhancing the selection in existing groceries.

Ye another would be doing something like running jitneys for carless people wanting to go shopping.

It just seems this boycott is too easy, and there might be more useful results from other forms of community organizing and community action.

1 comment:

Gary said...

Instead of boycotting, they should be seeking a replacement that is willing to deliver groceries. What a concept!

All boycotting does is tell Kroger that they are needed in that location. Seeking a competitor tells Kroger that something BETTER is needed in that location.