January 31, 2007
Rendell is kowtowing to casino interests and ignoring the very neighborhoods he had a hand in rejuvenating. Rendell needs to understand that City Council is listening to its constituency. The people are not against jobs or development: they are fighting for the future of their neighborhoods.
City Council has the courage to listen to its constituency and stand up to a Governor who ignores the facts. Public officials listening to their constituency as Council is doing is not extortion, it’s their job, it’s why we elected them and we applaud them for it.
Make no mistake: most of us opposed to the locations of these facilities are not against gaming or job creation for the city. We simply don’t want to see our neighborhoods destroyed. If these are moved out of neighborhoods the opposition will largely disappear and Rendell and the casinos will get their chance to attempt to create jobs and tax relief.
The casino operators can start building right away by simply choosing sites outside of neighborhoods. The law allows it the best of my knowledge and City Council would likely support it.
If Rendell wants gaming in Philadelphia the solution is very simple: he can join Senator Fumo, City Council and much of the Philadelphia Delegation and move theses facilities to sites where they are not opposed. It is not enough that he asked the developers to move, he needs to take the initiative and make it happen. The neighborhoods don’t want them–how can we make that any more clear?
Make no mistake, the opposition to these casinos is significant and we will not let up. We have fought these locations for well over a year and we will continue to fight them until they are moved. If they are built where they are proposed we will work to shut them down.