A new coalition has come together to denounce plans for a casino in Willets Point, Queens.
A rally will take place on February 6th and everyone is encouraged to attend.
Details including commentary from local civic leaders can be found below in the press release.
What: Members of “Don’t Gamble on our Community” coalition will officially announce their group’s formation focusing its efforts on specifically preventing a casino from opening at Willets Point for both economic and moral reasons.
Who: Community, civic and government leaders.
When: Wednesday, February 6, 2013at 11:00 AM,
Where: RAICES Corona Senior Center located at 107-24 Corona Avenue, Corona, NY 11368.
“Don’t gamble on our Community” coalition draws diverse elements
On Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 11:00 AM, the members of “Don’t Gamble on our Community” coalition will officially announce their group’s formation at the RAICES Corona Senior Center located at 107-24 Corona Avenue, Corona, NY 11368. The group, consisting of community, civic and government leaders is focusing its efforts on specifically preventing a casino from opening at Willets Point for both economic and moral reasons.
Michael Olmeda, the group’s convener, said,
“A casino in Willets Point makes no economic sense. It will not draw tourist dollars in any significant amount. Instead, it will suck up local dollars that might otherwise be spent at existing recreational facilities, and it will impoverish some of our citizens in the process.”
Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras, who represents Willets Point, remarks
“It is unprecedented to convert part of an existing economic development project that provides affordable housing and retail jobs for the purpose of building a casino which would obviously affect the social fabric of our community.”
Councilman Peter Koo who represents the neighboring Flushing community states,
“Shutting the public out of a decision of this magnitude, denying residents an opportunity to have input or even offer comment in any sort of formal proceeding, is inexcusable and necessarily corrosive of local democracy.”
Jesus Sosa, President of the Latinos Unidos de Flushing said,
“I oppose a casino at Willets Point for moral reasons. It is immoral to take the livelihood of low and middle income people in addition to their taxes to bail out a State, which hasn’t done the economic planning it should have done.”
Andrew Rocco, President of College Point Civic Association, one of the group’s leading members, added,
“Rather than creating and investing in a gambling industry, I want our governmental leaders to invest in the things we already have: world class cultural institutions, affordable housing, and our scenic waterfront.”
Maria Morel, Chairwoman of A Better Living Resource Coalition, said
“We are encouraging everyone to call or e-mail Speaker Silver telling him that we do not want this casino in our community.”
Edwin Salas President of Statewide Association of Minority Businesses agrees.
“Speaker Sheldon Silver does not speak for us,” states Salas. “Casinos located within urban communities have a net negative impact on the host community’s economy; i.e., more jobs are lost at existing businesses than the casino itself generates, because money formerly spent at those businesses is instead spent at the casino—and subsequently exiting the community.”
Anyone who wants to stop the casino is encouraged to stop by and sign our petition, which will be circulated throughout the surrounding communities and delivered to the Governor and Legislature sometime in June.
Which of these leaders has actively opposed the MLS stadium proposal on public parkland?