City officials including Mayor Sam Adams have softened their stance against Walmart recently as the shopping giant hires local software talent for its downtown Portland mobile-apps headquarters, WalmartLabs.
But the company can still expect one determined opponent in City Hall: Steve Novick.
The city commissioner-elect tells WW he opposes Walmart's presence in the city in any form. And he wants to dig up the anti-Walmart flag that Adams used to display in his office window, so he can display it from his new City Hall window.
"I'll have to ask Adams if he still has his anti-Walmart sign," Novick says. "Somebody should have it up."
Unlike other city office-seekers—including both mayoral candidates, Rep. Jefferson Smith (D-East Portland) and former City Commissioner Charlie Hales—who say they oppose further Walmart retail locations within city limits but don't have a problem with WalmartLabs, Novick says his opposition is absolute.
"If it's Walmart, I'm against it—whether it's a lab or a store," Novick says.
Tomi Anderson, a spokeswoman in Adams' office, says she's not sure where the flag is now—but believes it is in the city archives as an artifact from Adams' term as city commissioner from 2004 to 2008.
"It is probably technically city property/gifted to the city," Anderson writes, "so sure, Steve could have it."