In a little more than 24 hours the doors open on the Steelyard Commons Wal-Mart. At 8:36 a.m. on 19 May 2005 citizens who opposed that store came together and turned the lights on at No Cleveland Walmart intending to stop it from every being built. It would be easy to say that we failed miserably; that we didn't even cause a hiccup in the process of building Cleveland's first Wal-Mart. But, were it not for that first Blogger MeetUp where we all said that a Wal-Mart in Cleveland would be a bad thing for the city and its residents, there would not have been The Writing On The Wal, which is still the only international, independent voice on all things Wal-Mart. Since that first post we haven't missed a day and nearly 3,000 posts later, we're still going strong. In remembrance of that first post and the bloggers who said we're not going to take it anymore I echo our launch sentiment from Tim Russo, the Democracy Guy, and remind us all that it's grassroots, baby. Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.


  1. TimFerris says:

    The "article" is certainly toned down. We need to remember that the PD is more of a PR firm for its advertisers instead of a source of balanced news coverage for the community. It is less relevant every day.

    One way to set the record straight is to work at teaching people, or have all of us continuously learning, what is intrinsically valuable, what is sustainable, what delivers long-term economy, what builds personal wealth. Most of what WalMart does cannot deliver. Their business model is built on shorting somebody somewhere, or everybody everywhere. It's their culture.

  2. Jeff Hess says:

    Shalom Tim,

    I dropped a note to the Pee Dee reporter who rewrote the Wal-Flack talking point directing and mentioned several non-talking-point areas of interest.

    You won't be surprised to hear that I've not received a reply.



  3. Bruce B says:

    Come on guys, this is a good thing for Cleveland.  Low prices for middle and lower income families.  Good paying jobs with benefits for several hundred workers.  Tax revenues for the city and county.  And a vacant, decrepit property restored to usefulness.  The Cleveland Wal-Mart is a win-win for all involved.  The people most vehemently opposed to the Cleveland Wal-Mart had their own personal agendas at heart — not the best interests of the city or its citizens.  But fear not — if Wal-Mart is really as bad as you say, people will vote with their feet and not shop there or take jobs there.  In other words, the free market will ultimately prevail.

  4. Jeff Hess says:

    Shalom Bruce,

    First, thank you for stopping in, for reading and, most importantly, for taking the time to write a comment. It's all about the conversation.

    If we were dealing with a free market, I'd be with you Bruce. But since Steelyard Commons took advantage of tens of millions of public dollars in the form of grants and tax abatements, we're not.

    Even before the first store opened, the developer despoiler Mitch Schneider had made his money and moved on, leaving Cleveland to deal with the consequences and clean up once the shopping center becomes the city’s red light district.



  5. jon says:

    They will totally be "good paying jobs with benefits." They might not pay enough to raise a family of four above the poverty line, but they do pay "good." And lets not forget all of the great "benefits" medicade will have to pay for all of these impoverished greeters and checkers. Lord knows good ole' fashioned capitalism will fix everything just like it's fixing the housing crisis it created. Yay Wal-mart!!

  6. Jeff Hess says:

    Shalom Jon,

    First, thank you for stopping in, for reading and, most importantly, for taking the time to write a comment. It's all about the conversation.

    To be fair, Wal-Mart has never claimed to be doing anything other than racing towards the bottom in its quest for the lowest possible price and the highest possible profit.

    But governments have an obligation to not buy into and support with tax dollars such flim flam.



  7. […] What does any of this have to do with Wal-Mart? Reading the news this morning makes me think that Wal-Mart has reached the high water mark in its assault on urban America, and the monument to that charge may be here in Cleveland, at Steelyard Commons. […]

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