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Save Our South End Pharmacy

For Immediate Release
September 6, 2018

Contact: County Legislator Sam Fein, samfein6@gmail.com, 518-362-8380

39 Elected Officials and Community Leaders Send Letter to Walgreens’ CEO

Requesting Walgreens to Keep the South End Rite Aid Open
ALBANY (September 6, 2018) – 39 elected officials and community leaders signed and sent a letter to the
CEO of Walgreens Company, Stefano Pessina, requesting that he reconsider the decision to close the Rite Aid
pharmacy located at 310 South Pearl Street in Albany’s South End neighborhood. The letter noted that many
neighborhood residents frequent the pharmacy to purchase medications, as well as groceries. The letter also
made note that the neighborhood is a low-income community where many residents do not have access to
reliable transportation and would have great difficulty getting to the Walgreens Pharmacy on Holland Ave,
which Walgreens is transferring their prescriptions to.

The signatories of the letter, referring to the initiative as “Save Our South End Pharmacy,” cited Walgreens
Company’s stated purpose to “Champion the health and well-being of every community in America” and also
cited multiple pieces of Walgreens Company’s Corporate Social Responsibility Report. The letter argues that
Walgreens Company is not standing up to its stated goals and values. The signatories of the letter include
elected officials at the state, county, and city level, pastors of neighborhood churches, directors of nonprofit
organizations in the South End, and presidents of neighborhood associations.

“I have made equity a top priority to ensure every individual throughout Albany County has equal access to
services and support. Walgreen’s decision to shut down the Rite Aid in the South End that so many of our
residents rely on, including our seniors and the disabled, as a convenient location for crucial medications,
groceries and jobs runs contrary to what we are working towards and I urge them to reconsider,” said Albany
County Executive Daniel P. McCoy.

“Walgreens claims that it ‘champions the health and well-being of every community in America,’” said
County Legislator Sam Fein (D-6). “Walgreens needs to live up to its stated values and put people over profits.
I have spoken to many residents in my district who are scared and don’t know what they will do if this
pharmacy closes.”

Assemblymember John T. McDonald III said, “The South End residents deserve to keep this vital resource in
the neighborhood. Closing the store will cut off access to health sustaining medication, food, and other
essentials for everyday living. I strongly urge Walgreens to reconsider this decision and to take a deliberative
look at how this closure will impact the area that they serve.”

Assemblymember Patricia Fahy said, “Albany’s South End deserves the same access to basic amenities as any
other neighborhood. Walgreens’ decision to shut down the only pharmacy in this working class neighborhood
hurts the entire community by making access to medicine, groceries and basic needs more difficult. I join my
colleagues in calling on Walgreens to not make the mistake of leaving the South End behind.”
Save Our South End Pharmacy

The signatories of the letter are:

• Mayor Kathy Sheehan, City of Albany

• Hon. Daniel P. McCoy, Albany County Executive
• Hon. Neil Breslin, New York State Senator, 44th Senate District
• Hon. John McDonald, New York State Assemblymember, 108th Assembly District
• Hon. Patricia Fahy, New York State Assemblymember, 109th Assembly District
• Hon. Darius Shahinfar, Treasurer, City of Albany
• Hon. Susan Rizzo, Chief City Auditor, City of Albany
• Hon. Corey Ellis, President, Albany Common Council
• Hon. Wanda Willingham, Deputy Chairwoman, Albany County Legislature
• Hon. William M. Clay, Chairman of Legislative Black Caucus, Albany County Legislature
• Hon. Samuel I. Fein, Albany County Legislator, 6th District
• Hon. Lucille McKnight, Albany County Legislator, 1st District
• Hon. Merton D. Simpson, Albany County Legislator, 2nd District
• Hon. Norma Chapman, Albany County Legislator, 4th District
• Hon. Dorcey Applyrs, Albany Common Council Member, 1st Ward
• Hon. Derek Johnson, Albany Common Council Member, 2nd Ward
• Hon. Joyce Love, Albany Common Council Member, 3rd Ward
• Hon. Kelly Kimbrough, Albany Common Council Member, 4th Ward
• Hon. Jahmel Robinson, Albany Common Council Member, 5th Ward
• Hon. Catherine M. Fahey, Albany Common Council Member, 7th Ward
• Hon. Owusu Anane, Albany Common Council Member, 10th Ward
• Hon. Alfredo Balarin, Albany Common Council Member, 11th Ward
• Hon. Dominick Calsolaro, Former Albany Common Council Member, 1st Ward
• Steven T. Longo, Executive Director, Albany Housing Authority
• Willie White, Executive Director, AVillage…, Inc.
• JoAnn Morton, President, South End Neighborhood Association
• Holly Katz, President, Mansion Neighborhood Association
• Gail Hammond, Coordinator, Historic Pastures Neighborhood Watch
• Rev. McKinley Johnson, President, The African American Clergy United for Empowerment (TAACUFE)
• Rev. David Gordon, Pastor, House of the Lord Outreach Ministry
• Rev. David Traynham, Pastor, New Horizons Christian Church
• Rev. Marc Johnson, Pastor, St. John’s Church of God in Christ
• Rev. Alphonso H. Meadows, Jr., Pastor, Walls Temple AME Z Church
• Vivian I. Meadows, First Lady, Walls Temple AME Z Church
• Eric Fagans, President, South End Neighborhood Tutors
• Debra Fagans, Volunteer Executive Director, South End Neighborhood Tutors
• Carmen Duncan, Chief Coach & Founder, Mission Accomplished Transition Services
• Ira Bethea, South End Resident & Community Activist
• Tony Gaddy, UpState Black Chamber of Commerce


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