The Walmart 1 Percent in California



  • Walmart Board of Directors member Aida Alvarez is a director of UnionBanCal Corporation: 400 California Street San Francisco, CA 94104
  • Walmart Board of Directors member Aida Alvarez is the Chair of the Latino Community Foundation: 225 Bush Street, Suite 500, San Francisco, CA 94104
  • Walmart Board of Directors member Aida Alvarez is a Board of Directors member of Teen Success: P.O. Box 1742, Los Altos, CA 94023; 650-464-2569;
  • Walmart Board of Directors member Aida Alvarez is a Council member of California Competes: 50 California Street, Suite 3165, San Francisco, CA 94111; (415) 343-0830 (phone); (415) 543-0735 (fax)
  • Walmart Board of Directors member Jim Breyer is on the Board of Directors of Facebook: 1601 Willow Rd., Menlo Park, CA 94025; (650) 853-1300
  • Walmart Board of Directors member Jim Breyer is on the Board of Directors of ModelN: 1800 Bridge Parkway, Redwood Shores, CA 94065; Phone (650) 610-4600, Fax (650) 610-4699
  • Walmart Board of Directors member Jim Breyer is on the Board of Directors of Legendary Pictures: 4000 Warner Blvd., Bldg. 76., Burbank, CA 91522
  • Walmart Board of Directors member Jim Breyer is on the Board of Directors of Prosper Marketplace, Inc.: 111 Sutter St #22, San Francisco, CA 94104
  • Walmart Board of Directors member Jim Breyer is on the Advisory Board of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program: Huang Engineering Center, Suite 003 MC 4026, 475 Via Ortega, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305
  • Walmart Board of Directors member Jim Breyer is a Trustee of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, as is fellow director Marissa Mayer: 151 Third St.,  San Francisco, CA 94103; (415) 357-4000
  • Walmart Board of Directors member Jim Breyer is a Trustee of the Menlo School : 50 Valparaiso Avenue, Atherton, CA 94027; (650) 330-2001,
  • Walmart Board of Directors member Jim Breyer is the Past President of the Western Association of Venture Capitalists (Accel Partners is a member firm): Kim Yates Grosso, Executive Director, WAVC, PO Box 1221, Menlo Park CA 94026; 650-854-1322,
  • Walmart Board of Directors member Michele Burns is on the Board of Directors of Cisco Systems: 170 West Tasman Dr., San Jose, CA 95134.
  • Walmart Board of Directors member Greg Penner is on the Board of Directors of eHarmony,  888 East Walnut Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101; (800) 951-2023
  • Walmart Board of Directors member Greg Penner is a member of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Advisory Council: Knight Management Center, Stanford University, 655 Knight Way, Stanford CA 94305-7298; 650.723.2146
  • Walmart Board of Directors member Marissa Mayer is a Trustee of the San Francisco Ballet: 455 Franklin St., San Francisco, CA 94102; (415) 861-5600
  • Walmart heir and Chairman of the Walmart Board of Directors Rob Walton is Advisor at Greener Capital:
  • Carrie Walton Penner—daughter of Walmart heir and Board of Directors chair Rob Walton, and wife of Walmart Board of Directors member Greg Penner—is on the Board of Directors of The KIPP Foundation: 135 Main St., Suite 1700, San Francisco, CA 94105;  (415) 399-1556 (phone), (415)348-0588 (fax)
  • Carrie Walton Penner is on the Board of Directors of the California Charter Schools Association:
    • Los Angeles office: 250 E 1st St., Suite 1000, Los Angeles, CA 90012; (213) 244-1446 (phone), (213) 244-1448 (fax)
    • Sacramento office: 1107 9th St., Suite 200, Sacramento, CA 95814; (916) 448-0995 (phone), (916) 448-0998 (fax)
  • Carrie Walton Penner is a Trustee of the California Academy of Sciences: 55 Music Concourse Dr., Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA 94118; (415) 379-8000



The Walmart 1 Percent’s Influence in California Politics

The Walton family in politics

The Waltons have spent big on politicians in California, especially in state races. In 2005 alone, Christy Walton gave the California Republican Party $250,000. The Waltons also gave almost $1.8 million to numerous ballot initiatives furthering their ideological agenda in the state from 1990 to 2010.

The Waltons’ political contributions in California overwhelmingly favored Republicans from 1990-2010:


  Democrats Republicans
House $4,500 $31,500
Senate $1,500 $19,200
State-level $26,025 $1,054,563
California TOTAL $32,025 $1,105,263

Source: Analysis of data from the Center for Responsive Politics and the National Institute on Money in State Politics

Walmart in politics

Walmart has spent millions in California state races, much of it aimed at furthering its expansion in the state. The company spent over $3.1 million on state races between 2003 and 2011. On top of that, Walmart has a history of fighting opposition by forming committees and forcing special elections on the question of its expansion. Just during the 2009-2010 election cycle, the company gave $1.8 million to San Diego Consumers for Choice, Redlands Consumers for Choice, Menifee Consumers for Choice, Redlands Consumers for Choice, Salinas Consumers for Choice, Walmart and Sonora Citizens United for Jobs and Economic Growth, and Walmart and Ridgecrest Citizens United for Jobs and Economic Growth.

Additionally, between the 1990 election cycle and 2010, Walmart’s PAC gave $458,000 to candidates for Congress from California, with 57% going to Republicans.[1]



Walmart’s Impact on California’s Employment Picture

Impact of Walmart stores on retail and other jobs

Based on data available through Walmart’s website, there were 72,266 Walmart associates in California as of January 31, 2012.

According to a 2006 study, for every retail job created at Walmart, communities lose 1.4 retail jobs.[2] Based on the findings of this study, we estimate that, if Walmart had no stores in California, there would be an additional 28,906 retail jobs in the state.

Impact of Walmart’s China sourcing on jobs

Based on an estimate of Walmart’s share of the U.S.-China trade deficit, we can estimate that California lost an estimated 34,410 jobs as a result of Walmart’s practice of sourcing heavily from China.[3]



Walmart’s Cost to California Taxpayers

Taxpayer subsidies for Walmart

Walmart is the world’s biggest company.[4] But despite its colossal financial resources—the company brought in $444 billion in revenue last year[5]—it’s habitually dipped into public coffers to finance its expansion into almost every corner of the United States.[6] In the absence of centralized information or databases on economic subsidies, Good Jobs First, an economic policy and research non-profit, has done extensive research to document the subsidies Walmart has received, and has published the data on Walmart Subsidy Watch. Here’s what GJF uncovered in California:

Taxpayer healthcare costs

Tens of thousands of Walmart associates and their families qualify for Medicaid and other publicly subsidized care. Indeed, according to data compiled by Good Jobs First, in 22 of 24 states which have disclosed information, Walmart has the largest number of employees or dependents on the public rolls of any employer.[7] California has not disclosed data.



More Walmart stores coming to California

Here’s a list of Walmart stores planned or rumored to be opening in California:[8]

  • Atascadero: Supercenter, Del Rio Rd. and El Camino Real
  • Auburn: Supercenter, Luther Rd. near Hwy. 59
  • Brentwood: Supercenter, Sciortino ranch property
  • Burbank: Supercenter, near Empire Center
  • Burbank: Supercenter, 1301 N. Victory Pl.
  • Camarillo: Neighborhood Market, Camarillo Town Center Plaza
  • Ceres: Supercenter, Mitchell and Service Rds.
  • Desert Hot Springs: Supercenter, near Palm Dr. and Camino Aventura
  • El Monte: Supercenter, Valley Blvd. east of Santa Anita Ave
  • Elk Grove: Supercenter, Bruceville Rd. and Whitelock Pkwy.
  • Encinitas: Supercenter, Leucadia Blvd. and El Camino Real
  • Granite Bay: Neighborhood Market, Douglas and Sierra College Blvd.
  • Hayward: Neighborhood Market, 2480 Whipple Rd. (former Circuit City)
  • Hesperia: Supercenter, Main St. and Escondido Ave.
  • Huntington Beach: Supercenter, 6912 Edinger Ave.
  • Irvine: Supercenter, 71 Technology Dr.
  • Irvine: Supercenter, 16555 Von Karman Ave.
  • La Mesa: Neighborhood Market, 8820 Grossmont Blvd.
  • Lincoln: Neighborhood Market, Hwy. 65 and Second St.
  • Lodi: Supercenter, Kettleman Ln. and Sacramento Rd.
  • Los Angeles: Neighborhood Market, 701 W. Cesar Chavez Ave.
  • Los Angeles: Supercenter, San Vicente and W. Pico Blvds.
  • Los Angeles: Supercenter, 2650 E. Olympic Blvd. (Sears building)
  • Modesto: Neighborhood Market, Coffee and Orangeburg shopping center
  • Northridge: Supercenter, Northridge Shopping Center
  • Palo Alto: Neighborhood Market, 2080 Channing Ave. (Edgewood Plaza)
  • Paradise: Supercenter, near Butte Creek Canyon
  • Patterson: Supercenter
  • Pleasanton: Neighborhood Market, Santa Rita Rd. (former Nob Hill building)
  • Porterville: Supercenter, Riverwalk Marketplace at Jaye St. and Hwy. 190
  • Richmond: Neighborhood Market, San Pablo and Macdonald Aves.
  • Sacramento: Neighborhood Market, 2700 Marconi Ave.
  • San Diego: Supercenter, Market St. near 47th St.
  • San Diego: Supercenter, I-5 and Palm Ave.
  • San Jose: Supercenter, Almaden Ranch retail development
  • San Ramon: Neighborhood Market, Alcosta Blvd.
  • Santa Maria: Neighborhood Market, 2104 S. Bradley Rd.
  • Simi Valley: Supercenter, 2801 Cochran St.
  • Visalia: Supercenter, 3750 S. Mooney Blvd.


[2] The Effects of Wal-Mart on Local Labor Markets. December, 2006. David Neumark, Junfu Zhang, Stephen Ciccarella.

[3] These numbers are estimates. To arrive at these estimates, we used the report by the Economic Policy Institute that estimated U.S. jobs lost to China by state from 2001-2008. We then multiplied that number by 9.3%, which is the proportion of the overall U.S.-China trade deficit that EPI estimated to be tied to Walmart. We arrived at that number from this study.

[4] As measured by revenue; “Fortune Global 500 2011: The World’s Biggest Companies – Wal-Mart Stores,”

[5] “Walmart reports Q4 EPS from continuing operations of $1.51; Walmart U.S. delivers positive traffic and positive comp sales in Q4,” press release dated February 21, 2012,

[6] “Shopping for Subsidies: How Wal-Mart Uses Taxpayer Money to Finance Its Never-Ending Growth,” by Philip Mattera and Anna Purinton, Good Jobs First, May 2004.

[7] “Disclosures of Employers Whose Workers and Their Dependents are Using State Health Insurance Programs,” Good Jobs First report, version dated January 18, 2012.

[8] Information on planned or rumored stores collected by Making Change at Walmart.