As the long-time owner of a successful sandwich shop, I would like to provide the community with clear and accurate information as it pertains to the supposed "bail-out" of sandwich shops by municipal employees. I am often in communication with other purveyors of lunchtime fare, and I am sad to report that we have noticed a considerable drop-off in business ever since the group "Save Our Sandwiches! Alameda," or S.O.S.!A., began its sustained publicity blitz against what it has so misleadingly labeled "Big Baloney."
A recent press release issued by a Mr. Dave Williamson of S.O.S.!A. created the mistaken impression that taxpayer dollars are being used to "bail out" the sandwich business. Nothing could be further from the truth! Alameda's municipal employees are buying their lunches with their own hard-earned money; the fact that the City's payroll is ultimately funded by the taxpayers is completely irrelevant. If Mr. Williamson's reasoning were correct, then my shop would be subsidized by the state government if a Caltrans worker were to stop in for a cup of joe, or even subsidized by the federal government if a postal carrier were to eat lunch at my establishment! Clearly this logic is utterly ridiculous.
Furthermore, Mr. Williamson erroneously suggests that corporate interests are being subsidized by our purchase of sandwich ingredients. If our purchase of lunch meats were to be considered a subsidy for "Big Baloney," then our purchase of mustard would be a subsidy for "Big Condiment" and our purchase of bread would be a subsidy for "Big Dough." For S.O.S.!A. to portray our paying fair market price for supplies as some sinister kind of subsidy is, quite frankly, dishonest and wrong.
Local businesses like mine provide much-needed jobs and tax revenue in cities across America. If Mr. Williamson really wishes to "save his city," he should stop spreading false rumors that do nothing but harm the hard-working people in the lunch business. Just think of all the good that the time and money devoted to S.O.S.!A.'s misguided publicity campaign could do if they were put to constructive use.
Monday, January 26, 2009