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Family Dollar protest strategy shifts

5:09 AM, Oct 1, 2012   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- They've protested several times, but the construction still continued as planned. So what's next for those who are against a new Family Dollar store being built at the corner of Benjamin Mays Drive and Fairburn Road?

Possibly a legal or environmental angle. They'll look at permits and code requirements for the property to make sure all the rules were followed.

"And if all else fails, we will not take protests off the table," said Edith Lapido of the Cascade Heights Business Improvement Association. "Because people are not going to shop somewhere where there's a picket line."

Southwest Atlanta community members hope to meet with company reps and politicians Monday. A community meeting will start at 6 p.m. at the Adamsville Recreation Center on MLK. Lapido said representatives from the offices of the mayor and Rep. John Lewis could be there to join them.

"I don't think it's ever too late, [to continue to fight]," Lapido said. "I think there's always a strategy that the community can use."

Lapido and others say Family Dollar unfairly targets certain areas. There are already three along one 2.5 mile stretch of MLK. They worry the flood of discount stores could discourage other businesses from relocating to the area.

The company says they only put stores where they will be successful. One of the locations around the corner had a busy parking lot all Sunday morning.

"It helps me in many ways," said Family Dollar shopper Wilmer Hawk. "It helps me put more butter and bread on the table, and it helps me put more gas in the gas tank. I think there should be more of them built."

Lapido knows there are plenty of Family Dollar fans. But that doesn't faze her or the others who plan to show up Monday.

"I think there are plenty of Family Dollars in this community for them to shop at," Lapido said. "They don't have to have one on every corner."

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