Moon Valley Elitists Plan to Picket the Grand Opening of a Goodwill Store

Some residents of Moon Valley, a well-to-do North Phoenix neighborhood, are not giving up their fight against a Goodwill retail store that's opening there, in their neighborhood.

With the store's grand opening scheduled for tomorrow, some residents are actually planning to picket outside the store.

UPDATE November 22: Click here for photos and more news from the protest.

E-mails obtained by New Times a few months ago showed how Moon Valley residents, including former Republican U.S. Congressman John Shadegg, were demanding that City of Phoenix officials not to allow Goodwill to open the store at the former location of an AJ's Fine Foods store, at Seventh Street and Thunderbird Road.

Phoenix Vice Mayor Bill Gates, who represents Moon Valley as part of his district, told New Times in June that one of residents' primary concerns was property values. He said some residents have called this potential Goodwill store the "gateway into Moon Valley moving onto Seventh Street."

In one of the e-mails, the Goodwill store was described as "INCOMPATIBLE with the current tenants of the [shopping center] and the surrounding residential areas and neighborhoods."

It's "completely inappropriate," according to an e-mail spread by "neighborhood advocate" Amy Mais. The retail stores around other Phoenix Goodwill stores are "very troubling" and "of the lowest possible quality."

In one of Shadegg's e-mails, he was upset that city officials and "what they have done to us."

Hundreds of people signed an online petition, with nary a mention that Goodwill's a nonprofit that goes out of its way to hire those who face the biggest disadvantages in the job market.

Even though Goodwill signed a lease several months ago, some people in Moon Valley aren't giving up.

An e-mail sent out by Blanche Lukes, a Moon Valley Realtor, calls for a "peaceful protest" at tomorrow's grand opening:

A peaceful protest is planned for the 7th Street and Thunderbird Goodwill store's grand opening on Friday November 22 at 9 am.

Goodwill and their lawyers got the city to take away our rights without notice or a hearing and now the City is ignoring the Amendment that is supposed to protect what little rights we have left.

Wendy is available to help make signs. Just call [phone number] to arrange. There will be extra signs for anyone who doesn't have their own. If you are unable to participate in the protest, we hope you will boycott Goodwill stores and opt to donate to real charities and shop at other second hand stores.

We will only be boycotting Goodwill and not other stores at the Shaw Butte Center. We need to stay on public property (the sidewalk) and not private property. We should park at the south end of the shopping center where we are on public property and not impeding traffic. We must not take our signs with us if we leave the sidewalk to, for instance, go to Starbucks for a drink.

Additional parking at Fresh and Easy and the East end of the Safeway parking lot.
We've never seen residents of a neighborhood with nearly twice the median household income of the rest of Phoenix protesting outside a nonprofit, but there's a first for everything.

Send feedback and tips to the author.
Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.