A Small Southern Town’s Fight Against Big Business : Final Story Pitch

For my final story, I would like to write about the fight against Water Valley Mississippi in opening a Walmart super center in town. Many citizens are concerned about the effect that the big business will have on such a small town with an old time feel. The B.T.C Old Fashioned Grocery, located on Main Street has been an advocate against the new business. As recent as Monday April 14th, a Facebook page has popped up called “Long Live Water Valley”. Petitions are starting to appear urging against the construction, as well as people writing letters to the editor. I want to see why people are against the expansion.  Some numbers to think about include the population in Water Valley, the number of Walmarts in the country, and how much revenue Walmart is nationally making already.

My four sources are as followed, with reasons why I believe they would be good to speak to:

Source 1 : Alexe van Bueren (Owner of B.T.C)

Bueren was one of the first people to speak out against the new Walmart opening. She was in the group of people that pulled the town up back to it’s original small town charm. I would like to ask her:

1.) Are you originally from a small town? Does this impact why you believe keeping a small town feel is so important?

2.) How did you come up with the idea to get the town back to it’s original ways?

3.) Why do you feel like Walmart will ruin the town?

4.) You’ve urged people to petition and write letter to the editor, but what else have you been doing to combat the new business?

5.) What do you have to say to the people that want Walmart, and the convenience that comes with it?

Source 2 : The editor at the local newspaper, who is receiving letters about this

dhowl@bellsouth.net

1.) What are people saying about the idea of a Walmart opening? Are these things that are being said good or bad?

2.) As someone who works for a small town newspaper, do you believe a Walmart would be good?

Source 3 : Larry Hart, Mayor

662-473-1533

1.) Do you believe a Walmart is good for Water Valley?

2.) Do you think the people fighting against the Walmart make a good point?

3.) If Walmart does end up being in Water Valley, is there a way to compromise to make the town still feel the same?

4.) What are you doing as a leader to compromise with the people of Water Valley?

Source 4: Citizens of Water Valley

I am hoping to contact citizens through the Facebook groups associated with this cause, and see if there are varying opinions on this matter.

1.) How long have you been living in Water Valley, and what has the experience of that been?

2.) Are you for or against Walmart opening?

3.) What do you think a Walmart would do to the feel of the town?

4.) What do you have to say to the people that want Walmart for the convenience?

Other sources of information: http://www.preservationnation.org/magazine/2014/spring/small-town-renaissance-water-valley-miss.html http://www.huffingtonpost.com/national-trust-for-historic-preservation/how-hand-painted-signs-he_b_5084240.html

Media Additions:

1.) Social media has been a huge part in this issue, and people have really gotten involved on Facebook and Twitter.  I would like to make a Storify of peoples reactions to this issue.

2.) I think an interview on SoundCloud would be useful as well since this is a rather emotional subject for some people.  It would be better to hear it in their own words.

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