June 23, 2011
To The Residents of East Boston, Revere, Winthrop, and Chelsea:
Do you care that Governor Patrick, Senate President Therese Murray, and your own Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo are right now planning closed-door negotiations to finalize a bill to expand gambling in the Commonwealth – and more importantly, likely in your own neighborhoods – within the next several weeks?
Do you care to know the economic and social costs this new legislation would have on your neighborhood – on you, your family, your friends, and your small businesses?
Do you care that your community’s elected presence on Beacon Hill is not actively and wholeheartedly fighting for a current, comprehensive, and independent analysis of all potential costs and benefits related to such a bill?
Do you care that they are happy to rely on outdated and overly generous revenue and job-creation figures?
Do you care that over the last several years, they have been wooed over and over by casino owners, lobbyists, and other proponents, via political contributions and other means?
Do you care that your state elected officials may not have your best interests at heart, that they may rather follow blindly their Beacon Hill leadership than represent the interests of you, their constituents, who put them in office?
Do you care to believe they may stand more to gain than you will?
Do you care that if such a bill is agreed upon and signed into law in the next few weeks, that Suffolk Downs racecourse will surely secure a casino license and immediately start on a course of grand construction?
Do you care that you have heard very little or nothing from your elected officials, business organizations, and the casino owners themselves concerning how your communities’ small businesses will avoid being cannibalized by a massive casino complex in your neighborhoods?
Do you care that your elected officials and local newspapers have shared little to nothing with you concerning the increased levels of various crimes, insurance fraud, credit card abuse, bankruptcies, domestic abuse, child abuse, divorce, drug and alcohol abuse, and of course problem gambling, which you are sure to expect following a casino development?
Do you care that those you should be able to trust most are neglecting to share with you the complete picture?
Do you care that if you were shown the whole picture, expanded gambling in Massachusetts – especially in your neighborhood – would simply not make fiscal or socially-responsible sense?
If you DO CARE, now is the time to act. Unless you call, write, or email your state Senators and Representatives right now – and copy the Governor, Senate President, House Speaker, and Senator Karen Spilka on your sentiments – they will help set you, your family, friends, neighbors and small businesses on an irreversible crash-course with disaster.
If you DO CARE, visit United to Stop Slots in Mass. at www.uss-mass.org to find sample letters, elected officials’ contact information, and thousands of actual, proven, and documented (Read: not just moral, but more importantly financial and social) reasons to oppose expanded gambling in Massachusetts. Also visit www.neighborsofsuffolkdowns.org. Share your opinion with elected officials, local news media, and your family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. It is time to care and to act.
“Now, we must all fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil which we must fear most, and that is the indifference of good men.” Please, do not remain indifferent.
Editor's Note: This letter came from "Honest Truth" to eastboston.com on June 23, 2011.