U.S. Representative Bobby Rush recently led a rally at the Target Store at 1154 S. Clark Avenue in Chicago urging the Target corporation to allow for two Chicago South Side Target stores to remain open. The proposed closings came as a surprise to the citizens and elected officials of several South Side communities. The stores are in Chatham on 86th and Cottage Grove and in Morgan Park on 119th and Marshfield. The Target corporation cites low performance as a rationale for the two stores closing. This reasoning was contradicted by customers and elected officials who stated that the stores were always busy.
Congressman Rush said that the Target corporation faltered in store management and maintenance leading to the “ghettoization” of the South Side stores. The community fears that the store closings will lead to food and pharmacy deserts as well as a lack of general merchandise shopping options.
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Congressman Rush is calling for the City of Chicago to rescind the Tax Increment Funding (TIF) granted to Target for opening two new stores on the North Side of Chicago while the two South Side stores close. In the meantime, Congressman Rush is calling for a boycott of all Target stores until the decision is made to keep the stores open. Many people, including Chicago Mayoral Candidate Gerry Chico, said that they will no longer shop at Target.
There will be a meeting planned for Thursday November 15, 2018, between Congressman Rush and Target officials. In the event that Target refuses to keep the stores open, another protest will be held at the Downtown Target store at 1 S. State Street on Black Friday.
This article originally appeared in the Chicago Defender.