|Current Priority Action||Write Your Elected Officials||Write a Letter to the News||Put Up A Lawnsign||Join Us in the Next Meeting|
FULTON STREET HEARING:
At the Common Council Public Hearing on the sale of Fulton st., speaker after speaker came forward and made it abundantly clear to the Council Members in attendance just how strong the anti-casino sentiment is in our community.
The Chambers were packed, and our speakers were all loudly applauded. There were somewhere between 53 and 63 speakers opposed to the casino, and a grand total of 3 in favor. Our speakers, and those of our allied organizations such as VOICE-Buffalo and Citizens for a Better Buffalo, were solid in their command of the facts, and eloquent in their passion.
The Council had attempted to make this a non-event. The hearing had been set up with very little notice, in the wake of our devastating storm, at a time when most of us did not have electrical power. Even now, many still do not have telephone and cable service. So our ability to get the word out has been limited. But we still filled the Council Chambers on a cold Thursday night.
The hearing began with prearranged speeches by the Corporation Counsel and by Attorney Mike Powers, who has represented the private interests trying to get a casino built in Buffalo. Their speeches, going way past the three minutes allotted for the rest of us, presented the usual snake-oil distortions, and tried to force-feed the casino as a done deal. With the aid of glitzy little sketches on easles, they pitched the Gambling Corporation line that Fulton St. was the difference between an "A+" casino and a "C-" casino. Mr. Powers congratulated himself for donating time in negotiating the proposed sale.
(NB: Mike Powers was the Attorney for two lawsuits that successfully stopped a casino from being built in Cheektowaga, thereby forcing it into Downtown Buffalo. He was presumably well-paid for his representation of the plaintiffs in these cases.)
But the public also did considerable unpaid volunteer work, and when it was our turn to weigh in, every Council Member was put on notice that the people of Buffalo do not want a casino and expect the Common Council to show some leadership in stopping it.
Congratulations to Everyone on a Job Well Done!