By Mike Sullivan, WBZ-TV
BOSTON - The Boston City Council is taking aim at Walgreens after the company chose toin Mattapan, Hyde Park, and Roxbury.
The council plans to use their legislative powers to stop Walgreens from opening any future stores in the city unless they halt the closures. An ultimatum like this is not unprecedented. Former Mayor Thomas Menino sent a letter to Chic-Fil-A, telling the company not to open in the city because of their views on same-sex marriage.
"We can use whatever leverage we have, which is our zoning code, and leverage that to get them to make sure they come back to the table," explained Brian Worrell, the City Councilor for District 4. The Walgreens closure on River Street in Mattapan is within his district.
Without the three locations, the council believes pharmacy deserts will be created. They say the majority of residents in those areas don't use cars to get around.
"We are talking about predominantly working-class Black and brown communities that relied on Walgreens for many, many years, " said Worrell. "Now we are stripping a major resource away from them. We are talking about places where communities have got their food, their medication, their COVID vaccines."
Reps for Walgreens say the company is reviewing the council's proposals and is currently working on a response. In the meantime, the company is transferring patients' prescriptions to other Walgreens locations.
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