Media that empowers working people – that's how we build a More Perfect Union.

Don't Miss a Video!

Access our exclusive reporting and rapid response actions directly in your inbox, so you don’t miss a beat in the fight for working people nationwide.

Be a part of a community backing up independent journalism with action.

Ideas

Have a story to tell or idea to share?
Email [email protected]
© 2021 More Perfect Union Action

Together we can build power for working people.

We’re asking questions that really matter, and telling the stories of people who really need to be seen and heard.

You can support our work by donating today.

Amount

Make It Monthly

Don't Miss a Video!

Access our exclusive reporting and rapid response actions directly in your inbox, so you don’t miss a beat in the fight for working people nationwide.

Be a part of a community backing up independent journalism with action.

How Fort Worth Activists Defeated the Dollar Store Invasion

Dollar stores target low-income, minority neighborhoods and create food deserts and crime magnets.

A few years ago, former Councilmember Kelly Allen Gray noticed that dollar stores were invading her district in Fort Worth, Texas. There were almost one hundred of them in a 15-mile radius, concentrated to the East and Southeast of Interstate 35—the majority-minority side of town. The stores were crowding out grocery stores and small businesses and were magnets for crime.

“Why is this neighborhood not valued?” Gray reflected. “Why is this the best that we can get?”

In 2019, Gray and the citizens of Fort Worth fought back. First they protested the opening of new dollar stores. Then they passed an ordinance that would limit the opening of any new ones.

In less than a decade, the two dominant chains—Dollar General and Dollar Tree, which bought Family Dollar in 2015—grew from 20,000 to 34,000 locations nationwide. This growth is not slowing down: Dollar General, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar plan to open 1,600 new stores this year, representing almost half of large retail chains’ new store openings.

Dollar stores thrive off of the economically disadvantaged. Dollar General describes its core customers as “low and fixed-income households.” The chains target small towns and low-income urban neighborhoods like southeast Fort Worth that often have large minority populations. The company’s Chief Executive Todd Vasos has said, “we do very good in good times, and we do fabulous in bad times.”

While the companies present themselves as affordable sources of food in neighborhoods that have not been served by traditional retailers, dollar stores rarely stock nutritious options. Despite the limited fresh food available, more Americans buy their food at dollar stores than Whole Foods—often because they have no other alternative. “You see in this area, it’s pretty much like a food drought,” Southeast Fort Worth activist Terrence Watson told More Perfect Union. “But when you bring a dollar store, it’s not even healthy at all.”

The Fort Worth ordinance requires any future dollar stores meet two requirements: they cannot be located within two miles of an existing dollar store and at least 10 percent of the stock must be fresh produce, meat, and dairy products. “It’s given some freedom to grocery stores to actually look back in the area and think about relocating here,” Gray told More Perfect Union.

Fort Worth is not alone in resisting the growth of these predatory businesses. Kansas City, Kansas, Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma, Birmingham, Alabama, and Georgia’s DeKalb County have also passed laws restricting dollar stores and offering financing for new grocery stores. Before passing the ordinance, “I did not realize how strongly people felt about dollar stores,” Gray said. “The sky’s the limit and the limit is the sky.”

The Latest

Burn The Forest To Save It, Firefighters Argue
Read More
10,000 John Deere Workers Are Officially On Strike
Read More
Ohio’s New Election Maps Are So Rigged Even the GOP Governor Says They’re Illegal
Read More
CVS Workers Refuse To Settle For Nickels And Dimes
Read More
Working 120 Days Straight: Kellogg’s Workers Go on Strike to Protest Brutal Conditions
Read More
Netflix and Amazon Film Crews Expose Horrific Conditions On Set
Read More
The Inside Scoop On The Campaign To Primary Kyrsten Sinema
Read More
Amazon Worker Died After Being Assigned To COVID Testing Team
Read More
Voters Rage At Rep. Scott Peters For Selling Out On Drug Prices
Read More
DeJoy Slows Down USPS Mail Service To Speed Up Privatization
Read More
60,000 Hollywood Crew Workers Gear Up For First-Ever Strike
Read More
The Real Reason Grocery Prices Are Skyrocketing
Read More
Starbucks Tries To Crush Historic Union Drive In Buffalo
Read More
Exclusive: Tesla Employee Speaks Out On Rampant Racism At The Company
Read More
How Spotify Is Killing The Music Industry
Read More
Exclusive: Racist Slurs & Toxic Culture At Tesla
Read More
Meet The Democrat Helping To Destroy The Postal Service
Read More
Apple Is Behind One Of The Largest Thefts In History
Read More
How Iowa City Defeated Grubhub
Read More
A Frito-Lay Worker Was Electrocuted, Denied Medical Care & Stalked by Company Agents
Read More
How Fort Worth Activists Defeated the Dollar Store Invasion
Read More
Forced to Work 12 Hours a Day, 7 Days a Week: The Dark Side of Frito-Lay
Read More
The NRA You’ve Never Heard Of Is Blocking a $15 Minimum Wage
Read More
How NYU Grad Students Won A Major Labor Fight On Their Campus
Read More
These Drivers Could Defeat Uber & Lyft With Their Own App
Read More
For Fast-Food Workers, the Pandemic Made a Bad Situation Worse. Now They’re Fighting Back.
Read More
A Modern Day Sweatshop: The Tesla Factory Secrets Elon Musk Doesn’t Want You To Know
Read More
Drivers Protest Uber & Lyft
Gig Workers Take On Big Tech in Massachusetts
Read More
Striking Alabama Coal Miners Put Their Lives on the Line
Read More
Fired By Elon Musk for Unionizing at Tesla
Read More
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema Boosts Republican Assault on Democracy
Read More
The Real Deal: Mergers Fuel Job Losses
Read More
Republicans Wage War to Deny More Than 800,000 Disabled and Elderly Americans Home Care
Read More
New Poll: Majority of Voters Support the PRO Act and the For the People Act
Read More
Poll Finds Republicans Support Elizabeth Warren’s Wealth Tax
Read More
The Dirty Secret Behind Dollar General’s Low Prices
Read More
Majority of Trump Voters & 65% of Americans Support Medicare Expansion
Read More
Workers rally for the PRO Act.
NEW POLL: Bipartisan Support for PRO Act in Arizona, Virginia and Other Key States
Read More
TV Networks Caught Airing Fake “Interviews” Scripted By Major Corporate Lobby
Read More
BREAKING: New Details Bolster Likelihood NLRB Will Overturn Amazon Union Election
Read More
Exclusive: Emails Show Amazon Pressured USPS To Install Illegal Dropbox During Union Election
Read More
NEW REPORT: Amazon’s Most Egregious Illegal Action To Bust The Union Organizing Effort
Read More
EXPOSED: The Major Corporations Funding Voter Suppression Efforts in Georgia
Read More