Asian Americans United is disappointed but not surprised by the Mayor’s decision. It has been clear from the start that there has been no intent to engage in an inclusive process that respects the voices of residents and communities. Worse still has been witnessing the dismantling of processes that have been established in our city precisely to protect residents from capricious and self-serving development.
We’re disappointed that a “new day” has become a new way of doing business as usual. In fact, it is worse. Mayor Nutter’s first major project since his election is his effort to force slots at Market East in the largest and most fast-tracked project in recent memory. While the effort to get casinos off the waterfront is to be lauded, we are appalled by the city’s efforts to place it in the center of Philadelphia at the city’s major transit hub with the explicit intent to expose the maximum number of people to gambling.
The process has been flawed from the moment the Mayor took the closed door August 21st meeting with the Governor all the way through the “done deal” vote in City Council. Given that the City owns the Gallery itself, it is hardly a passive victim of unjust state legislation. It is now a business partner with a slots house.
In driving through this legislation, the Mayor and City have ignored the voices of citizens, abandoned campaign promises around residential buffers for casinos, raised serious questions about the intent to reform and improve planning and zoning, and recklessly put the city at financial risk by refusing to calculate the costs of this location.
We as citizens of our beloved city will continue to fight for what is morally right, for a democratic and inclusive process, and for public interest over private interest. We sincerely hope that the rest of the city’s residents will join us in reclaiming our government and reclaiming our democratic processes during these difficult times ahead.
Posted by Matt Golas