From Friends of East Boston:
A network of more than thirty ministers in East Boston are standing in solidarity with fellow clergy in Revere calling for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to adhere to the law regarding the outcome of the Nov. 5 referendum in East Boston and Revere.
On Tuesday, the Commission is expected to decide whether a proposal for a Revere-only casino can move forward without a new host community agreement and vote – despite a new applicant, a new location, and a definitive “no” vote in East Boston on Nov. 5.
In a letter and press conference Monday morning, the group says the Suffolk Downs casino proposal was officially ruled dead when East Boston voters struck it down.
"On Nov. 5, a total of 7,637 East Boston citizens voted, and of those, 4,283 voted ‘no’ to that ballot question," the group wrote in a letter to be submitted to the Gaming Commission Monday morning. "Elected officials from Revere and officials from Suffolk Racecourse, LLC are attempting to deny the clear intent of the Boston Host Community Agreement and the East Boston ballot question and ultimately subvert the very democratic process that has been foundational for our Commonwealth. We call upon the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to recognize the truth that this proposal was never about a casino in East Boston or Revere."
A joint press conference organized by ministers in East Boston and Revere – representing multiple faith traditions and ethnic heritages – will be held on Monday, December 9, at Tabernaculo Evangelico de las Asambleas de Dios, 957 Broadway, Revere, at 11 a.m.
"What the Mass Gaming Commission appears poised to do is an absolute outrage,” says Rev. Dr. David Searles of Central Assembly of God in East Boston, "and we will not stand by idly while our community is assaulted by this illegal proposal and the ideals of democracy are threatened by powerful interest groups."
For media inquiries, attend the press conference Monday or contact Trent Sheppard at 816.719.8746, email@example.com, or at www.friendsofeastboston.com.
Letter to Be Submitted to Gaming Commission
09 December 2013
To the Members of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission,
We are writing on behalf of the Friends of East Boston, a network of more than thirty local ministers who believe our community deserves better than a casino, and on behalf of other individuals and communities of faith in Revere who share that same vision.
On November 5 the people of East Boston exercised their rights as citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by voting on a host community agreement between the city of Boston and Sterling Suffolk Racecourse, LLC which is the owner of 161 acre parcel located in both East Boston and Revere. The East Boston (Ward 1) ballot question said that “A NO VOTE from a majority of votes cast in this Ward referendum would prevent Sterling Suffolk Racecourse, LLC, from proceeding with its application to obtain a gaming license from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to operate a gaming establishment at the specified location.” That specified location includes the property in both East Boston and Revere. On Nov. 5, a total of 7,637 East Boston citizens voted, and of those, 4,283 voted “no” to that ballot question.
Senator Anthony Petruccelli, a casino proponent who represents East Boston and Revere and who helped write the law regarding the host community agreement, clearly agrees with this assessment. He recently stated in a letter to the MGC that: “Only favorable referendum results in both host communities allow the applicant to proceed to Phase 2. That did not happen with Sterling Suffolk's Project. Because one host community voted in the negative, the Project proposed for Suffolk Downs is dead.”
Elected officials from Revere and officials from Suffolk Racecourse, LLC are attempting to deny the clear intent of the Boston Host Community Agreement and the East Boston ballot question and ultimately subvert the very democratic process that has been foundational for our Commonwealth. We call upon the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to recognize the truth that this proposal was never about a casino in East Boston or Revere. To accept the premise that this process includes an option of a casino in Revere only is to pretend that the Boston Host Community Agreement did not exist, that the East Boston ballot did not exist, and ultimately that the East Boston vote did not exist. We call upon the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to do the right thing and deny the post November 5 proposal for a casino on the Revere only property of Sterling Suffolk Racecourse, LLC.
A full list of East Boston and Revere signees – representing various faith traditions, ethnic heritages and congregations – will be available Monday.