Jimmy McMillan: ‘I Hope 7-Elevens Pop Up All Over the Place’

IMG_0034Meghan Keneally

Is Jimmy “The Rent Is Too Damn High” McMillan a fan of 7-Eleven?

Damn straight, he is.

“I applaud 7-Eleven!” the mayoral candidate told The Local earlier today, striking a decidedly different tone than the anti-chain activists who’ve been plastering the neighborhood with stickers reading “Shopping 7-Eleven? Shame On You!”

“I hope 7-Elevens pop up all over the place,” he added.

Mr. McMillan was spotted shopping at 7-Eleven last week, but he isn’t ashamed. “Anything that opens so people can grab a quick snack on their way to work, I welcome that,” he said, later adding, “The reason you see places like 7-Eleven and Walmart popping up all over the country is because people can’t afford to shop on Fifth Avenue. People complain that 7-Eleven is turning the East Village into a mall but they are not talking about the real issues that will get America back on track.”

UntitledDaniel Maurer

One of those issues? You guessed it: the rent is too damn high. “It’s a tragedy to see building owners raising the rent on restaurants that have been there for decades. Some buildings have been labeled landmarked and they’re still raising the rent,” he said. “And store owners can’t compete because people don’t have the money to buy the food after [landlords] raise the rent.”

Mr. McMillan said he recently paid $1.50 for a cup of coffee at a “regular” restaurant. “I go to 7-Eleven and get a medium coffee for a $1 or 95 cents,” he said. “It takes a burden off of people.”

As for critics of the corporate convenience store,  “they’re talking all this nonsense,” he said. “They’re talking about 7-Eleven – why aren’t they talking about college tuition? This is an evil group of human beings that are talking about 7-Eleven – they should be talking about things that can help people.”

Those things include a four-month rent and eviction freeze – two items that will be on Mr. McMillan’s platform when he registers as a mayoral candidate next week, he said. (He just launched an online fundraising drive for the campaign.)

As for the candidate’s own eviction case, Mr. McMillan said he was ordered to pay $18,000 in back rent but is still fighting in court to stay in his apartment on St. Marks Place.