This is empowerment of the people at its finest! We have fought hard to put the brakes on the runaway train of unfettered casino development and expansion and now we have an opportunity to stop the process before it starts. This article by Steven Harmon of the Contra Costa Times shares some of the details.
Assembly OKs measure giving communities input on casinos
SACRAMENTO - Communities would be able to vote on whether they believe Indian casinos should be allowed in urban areas in a measure approved Tuesday in the state Assembly.
The votes would be advisory, so they would not have any binding power. But they would show the Legislature and governor the communities' views on casinos coming into their backyard, supporters said.
Berkeley Democratic Assemblywoman Loni Hancock's legislation, approved unanimously out of the Assembly Elections and Redistricting Committee, is part of a backlash against efforts by the casino industry to place gaming facilities in urban settings.
"This is the only way that the people can express themselves on gaming casinos," said Hancock. "People feel passionately about gambling casinos in their communities and right now they have no voice."
Hancock's district, which encompasses Alameda and Contra Costa counties, may soon be the most casino-rich urban district of the state. Richmond and North Richmond are considering building casinos, while Casino San Pablo is seeking to expand its facility to allow hundreds of Las Vegas-style slot machines.
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