By Rosalie Tirella
We, the folks against the slots parlor in Green Island, must continue to write, speak and protest against city officials’ committing environmental injustice. Dumping the lowest form and exploitative economic ‘development’ on Green Island. But we have to face the facts: City officials, and most likely, the majority of the city council members, are FOR THIS TRAVESTY.
They are for it, and will vote to authorize the city manager to negotiate a host aggreement with Rush gaming. They already got what they really wanted – the luxury hotel, casino and nice restaurants DOWNTOWN, AWAY FROM THE SLOTS PARLOR. This is what was proposed early on, and if you remember Mayor Petty was livid over the proposal, wanted to seize the Wyman Gordon site under eminent domain. He said the proposed gambling package for Wyman Gordon would HARM ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN Worcester. So, behind closed doors, the plans changed. City officials and biz leaders got the gaming guys to say Ok, we will sprinkle the goodies downtown (hotel, restaurants, casino) and leave the crap slots parlor at the Wyman Gordon site. Let Green Island suffer more injustices.
We voters will merely have a chance to rubber-stamp Mayor Petty’s and CM O’Brien’s economic development vision come referendum time. Do not kid yourself, this proposal make it to the voters. City leaders want this. They are just too cowardly, except for Konnie Lukes, to fess up.
Who wants to be seen publicly embracing 1,200 slot machines that take credit and debit cards for Wusta’s most vulnerable hood?
Not our city councilors!
City officials are saying yes to slots cuz they are desperate for economic development downtown. AND the entire gaming package will mean, most likely, lots of new tax dollars for Wusta, year after year. A new hotel built for free for the city by Rush. Jobs for low skilled workers. Many permanent.
If we want to ease some of the pain for Green Island/Wusta’s poor residents, then we should demand the following:
That all jobs at the slots parlor, hotel, casino etc be awarded to folks who live within a HALF MILE OF THE DEVELOPMENT. NOT THE CITY OF WORCESTER, BUT THE WUSTA FOLKS WHO LIVE CLOSEST TO THE FACILITIES. These people will be impacted most severely. Traffic, crime, noise, etc.
The people who live nearest the slots parlor are, for the most part, low-skilled workwrs. Not stupid. Just not connected. Not wealthy. Not even middle class. Many never had the money or opportunity to go to college. THEY ARE THE PEOPLE WE MUST FIGHT FOR. THEY ARE THE FOLKS WHO YEARS AGO WOULD BE WORKING IN OUR FACTORIES. Now let them at least work in the casino industry – FOR UNION WAGES. NO LESS.
City leaders have been too lazy and stupid to recruit light industry to our city. The gambling industry is offering them an easy way out.
They will take the easy way out.
At the very least, we should push for GOOD JOBS/GOOD WAGES for the people most impacted by living next to this unholy mess.