Midtown Walmart: City Official's Offensive Email Emerges Just Before Final Vote Tonight

Categories: News

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One of many offensive images included in a city official's email about Walmart.
Tonight, city council members will decide the fate of one of Miami's most divisive issues: Walmart's bid to build a big-box store in midtown.

The mega-retailer's plan to invade Miami has pissed off opponents, inspired passionate protests, and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars -- perhaps millions -- in lobbying and public relations fees. So what could make the situation even more incendiary?

How about an offensive, arguably racist email sent by the city's chief of urban design openly mocking Walmart customers?

See also: Wal-Mart is Coming to Midtown, Like it Or Not

The following email -- obtained by New Times -- was sent by Enrique D. Nuñez, the City of Miami's chief of urban design, on March 6, 2013, at 2:39 p.m. (in other words, during work hours).

The recipients are all fellow members of the Planning & Zoning Department: Carmen Sanchez (assistant director), Kimberly Kennedy (administrative aide), Lydia Sacher (administrative assistant), Antonio Perez (planner), David Snow (position unknown), and Harold Ruck (chief of community planning).

We should point out that Planning & Zoning is precisely the department charged with reviewing and approving Walmart's application for a Class II Special Permit to build in midtown.

Neither Nuñez nor planning director Francisco Garcia responded to repeated requests for comment yesterday.

In his email, Nuñez is clearly forwarding an email featuring photos from the popular (possibly racist and classist, certainly condescending) blog People of Walmart.

But Nuñez puts his own imprimatur on the offensive email by ominously adding, "Coming to Midtown."

Here's the email in its entirety (broken up into JPEGs). You can decide for yourself if this is something Nuñez should be sending around the office. By the way, records from 2011 show Nuñez making more than $112,000 per year.

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105 comments
robert.n.nielsen
robert.n.nielsen topcommenter

There are already several walmarts in the area. How many do we need?

Exiliado
Exiliado topcommenter

The pictures are not offensive.

The behavior/appearance of the people in them  is.

bwarhop
bwarhop

A few of these was not at Walmart but I use to work at one so I know there are a lot of weird people who go in there dressed terrible, but they go in other stores too. People just don't care how they look anymore. I think all stores should be able to turn people away at the door if not dressed proper. We should not be forced to look at all that skin & also tattoos are just ugly anyway no matter where they are but I wish people who want them in odd places would cover them. People are going around half naked & with their PJ's on, what's wrong with them? Are they crazy or have no shame. Who would want to go out in public with PJ's on then go home & get in bed with all those germs u get on u in the stores & touching the carts. If u only knew what's been in those carts u wouldn't do that. They should be washed with 6 parts water & 1 part bleach or something every day but they are never washed. All stores should spray down their carts to protect the children, adults & food from germs but this won't change till people make a fuss over all this to change cause retail would eventually have to listen cause they want your business.

tdlllfloridq
tdlllfloridq

She sat on her probation papers before the ink was dry! 

Funny, but racist...

Ron Kerr
Ron Kerr

NT is for Walmart!! Why would the post this??

Allen Bess
Allen Bess

How is this racist? Whoever wrote that it is racist is a race baiter and should be reprimanded for poor writing. The core issue is true, and that is wal mart brings disgusting people. NIMBY.

vojinovr
vojinovr

HAHA!! The guy in the red speedo is someone who works for one of Detroit's most popular radio morning shows... he did that as a prank! I can't believe he's on here! Awesome! Thanks James from Dave and Chuck The Freak!! :D

Cece Hill
Cece Hill

Haha the pictures are so funny. Great job! Funny but nowhere near racist.

Mario Artecona
Mario Artecona

People in all walks of life send each other links and emails to blow off steam and have a laugh about a particular issue they may be working on. I think this is the case with this email as well. Just because the staff are public officials it does not make them immune to stress and the need to have a laugh. I don't think its is racist at all. It shows ridiculous behavior from all sorts of humans, regardless of race, creed or color.

Galina Roz
Galina Roz

The pics are of ppl of all color and ethnicity so I don't see it as racist.

cocosilk
cocosilk

I'm sure if they wanted to build a Whole Foods Market instead of a Walmart, the feelings would have flipped for those involved in the planning and zoning process. 

Jenny
Jenny

What do you expect in scagtino controlled Miami? And while those people in the photos are revolting, so is scagtino culture, and fat scagtino welfare queens.

hclr45
hclr45

Urbanized. Pretty good documentary if you want to see what real zoning, planning and development officials do.

thadpowercock
thadpowercock

Nuñezis fucking garbage. I guess he's never seen the fat nasty Latina bitches with the tight pants and cottage cheese thighs carrying their fucking poodles through the produce section of the midtown Target? Fuck that guy. Total piece of shit. And fuck all you Walmart haters. Killing your "small business"? (what small businesses?). Don't go then. No one is holding a gun to your heads. Target is garbage. When that new Walmart opens I'll be there opening day. Can't wait to see the new layout, specially designed to deal w/the midtown zoning. Also excited to see some brownfield and opium dens bulldozed and a brand new well lit 24 hour retail outlet put in it's place. PS: I live in Edgewater.

Laura Simonelli
Laura Simonelli

Not racist, its a behavior by all races! These types of stores belong in the demographic areas of need, not in wealthier areas of which the patrons can choose to drive for their bargains. Not right at all to subject upper class areas to be forced to be around the types of what they clearly pay to not have to live around. Declining home values next and crime rates up as I would think statistics show

Derrick Lang
Derrick Lang

That email is hilarious. Most people are ugly. Deal with it.

SurewhateverUsay
SurewhateverUsay

I thought politicians and the people of Miami wanted to make that area better. Walmart in midtown will be a huge downgrade. Pay careful attention which politicians voted yes, so we can vote them out in the 2014 elections.

Jan Dedeurwaerder
Jan Dedeurwaerder

fucking hilarious. I hope those motherfuckers get voted down!!!

Marvelle Davis
Marvelle Davis

they should have been turned around at the dam door

ob1sfla
ob1sfla

OMG, these photos are hilarious, and reason why I do not shop at walmart 

NJ Gilbert
NJ Gilbert

WTH oh MIAMI RACISM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mixolidia Gautreaux
Mixolidia Gautreaux

The email seems more classist than racist. The real story here is how Walmart lobbyist are manipulating the city to get a store placed where the zoning does not allow. Traffic is crazy enough in that area without a Walmart. Not to mention that Walmart does not support surrounding communities. Lo

billis820
billis820

This is the funniest thing I have ever read. You people have no sense of humor. It must be a slow news day for you guys to freak out and write a 2 page article about this. OH

Chris Funk
Chris Funk

Fuck walmart. Give the space to ¡Ño! ¡Que barato!

WhyNotNow
WhyNotNow topcommenter

By racist, I assume you mean that it is showing white people in a bad light? On the first page there are 14 photographs and 12 are of white people. What is your point? To make it seem more sensationalist? The fact that official is stating welcome to walmart tells me this was already a done deal. That is the story.

WhyNotNow
WhyNotNow topcommenter

The most obvious thing you are overlooking mr. Miller, is that Walmart is obviously a done deal. Otherwise, the official would not be making a statement.

Danny Cespedes
Danny Cespedes

I don't see what was so offensive. That IS what you see in WalMart.

Diego L. Naranjo
Diego L. Naranjo

I don't think it's racist...there are people from all walks of life in these photos. Classist maybe...but it's something to think about when you are trying to attract Art Bassel and other high profile events to the area. Who wants to see that shit?

Patti Paschke
Patti Paschke

I looked at this article, the pictures and the comments. I wish I hadn't :(...and that is why I am happy that I live in the middle east. Cover Please....

Alex Correoso
Alex Correoso

Props to chief of urban design. That e-mail is awesome, and let's be honest.... That's exactly what you see in Walmart every time. It's not his fault those customers decided to dress inappropriately. They totally set themselves up for it.

teknodum
teknodum

Customers are the least of the problems. Th poor Walmart employees are taking donations for thanksgiving dinners for themselves. They are part time working poor who will add to the homeless population, increased crime and destruction of Wynwood redevelopment

Lose, lose for everyone ,but the corrupt wealthy Walmart Empire  and our corrupt Miami bloodsuckers who approved this travesty 

Erik Ramos
Erik Ramos

I think the pictures are fucking hilarious. I hate it when just because there is a black person in one of the pictures or pictures all of the sudden now it's racist. Obama is President get the chip of your shoulder already and stop making excuses that the imaginary man is holding you down !!!!! When the Black comedians go on stage and almost 70 % of their comedy act is making fun of white,hispanic,arab, or Chinese people, no one makes a fuss and burns their own neighborhoods in protest !

Phil Ramirez
Phil Ramirez

of course it's racist! How come he didn't include in the email, pictures of Cubans committing Medicare fraud at the pharmacy section on both Hialeah Gardens and Westchester WalMarts?!?! Ahhhh...

bwarhop
bwarhop

Has nothing to do with color, just fat naked people with ugly tattoos that need to put their clothes on before going in public!

bella6379
bella6379

@Ron Kerr because it happened

SurewhateverUsay
SurewhateverUsay

Bc ppl are going to shell out $450K for a condo a block or two from Walmart. Get real! Move to Hialeah there's a huge 24 hour super center there w/government housing a mere stroll down the street. Way to go Miami politicians! We are running out of land to build on, so the idea is to build up (condos). No one will pay top dollar to live next to that mess. Not to mention Miami depends on the real estate market to generate money, so it's absolutely ridiculous to even consider such an idea (unless someone is dropping a nice stack in your mailbox). The city has issues containing the crime rate in that area as it is. Can you imagine how much worse it will be trying to leave that parking lot at night fall? Oh yeah and the lame talking point, "Walmart will create x amount of jobs." Go around and see how much Walmart workers make. Google it! More than 51% make less than $25,000/year. There was a break room picture posted this week where Walmart employees had baskets out asking their coworkers to donate food so they can dispurse it to those coworkers that can't afford to buy food for Thanksgiving! You'd think the owners/shareholders would look out for those they're ripping off. Yeah sure...better chance of the Palmetto construction finally finishing...neva gonna happen

grantstern
grantstern

@WhyNotNow all we expect from these public servants is respect for all sides, this shows a considerable amount of pre-judgement in the Planning Department

pirtdab
pirtdab

@Daniel Fanego  So Dan... you Support a company that :
1) sells products made with slave labor from China- killing american manufacturing and retail jobs,
 2) asks customers and employees to donate cans of food to give out to employees because they Are not paid enough, while
3) the heirs to walmart have more wealth then the bottom 41% of the entire population of our country- yet they
4) Spend Millions lobbying against Unions, a raise in the minimum wage or a living wage, and
5) End up costing MILLIONS in tax dollars for food stamps, since their employees are below the poverty line? 

Really, what are you supporting? 

teknodum
teknodum

@Daniel Fanego 

You support the demise of local merchants? You support low waged employees who are the working poor, living in cars, begging for money to put thanksgiving dinner on the table. you support exploitation of workers in third world countries? 

You support our own banana republic getting wealthy on the backs of the poor?

What is there to support? The destruction of Midtown and Wynwood?

tdlllfloridq
tdlllfloridq

@Erik Ramos Why did he say the black ladies sat on their probation. Its certainly is a biy racist. And where are the Spanish people at? It is Miaammii!

WhyNotNow
WhyNotNow topcommenter

I get that. I am wondering why the writer of the story doesn't. That to me is the story, the official stating that this is basically a dome deal and Sarnoff, et al are just going through a dog and pony show to appear as though they are really interested in doing the right thing. Miami 21 has some good facets and some bad facets. Our city commission and officials are using the bad and ignoring the good.

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