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Monday, November 05, 2007

Slots at Rosecroft (Seeking comments from our elected officials)

(Updated 5 Nov 2007)
Sent to:
  • Councilman Tony Knotts (D-8) Bio | E-Mail | 301-952-3860, Fax: 301-952-4821
  • Sen. C. Anthony Muse (D-26) Bio | E-Mail | 301-858-3092, Fax: 301-858-3410.
  • Del. Veronica Turner (D-26) Bio | E-Mail | 301-858-3212, Fax: 301-858-3105.
  • Del. Kriselda Valderrama (D-26) Bio | E-Mail | 301-858-3210, Fax: 301-858-3339.
  • Del. Jay Walker (D-26) Bio | E-Mail | 301-858-3581, Fax: 301-858-3403.
A recent poll commissioned by Penn National Gaming, new owners of Rosecroft Raceway, suggest that over 60% of the people living in the area around Rosecroft support allowing slot machines there.

I've searched the local newspapers, and web sites of local broadcast news outlets, looking for a reaction from you, the elected representatives from the Rosecroft area, and can't find any coverage of your reactions.

Believing that we are not being well-served by the media, I'll make this offer:

If you have a public statement on the results of this poll, or on whether Rosecroft is an appropriate venue for slots, send it to me and I will post it verbatim, without comment, on my blog and send it out to several mailing lists concerned with political issues in Prince George's County.

  • Councilman Tony Knotts (D-8):
    • None.
  • Sen. C. Anthony Muse (D-26):
    • None.
  • Del. Veronica Turner (D-26):
    • None.
  • Del. Kriselda Valderrama (D-26):
    • None.
  • Del. Jay Walker (D-26):
    From: Postmaster
    To: dcrussell@gmail.com
    Date: Nov 5, 2007 10:36 am
    Subject: Undeliverable mail

    User mailbox exceeds allowed size: jay.walker@mail.state.md.us

1 comment:

  1. November 17, 2007

    It is said that if you put a frog in hot water, he will hop out. But if you rise the temperature slowly, you will have cooked frog. That’s why you didn’t hear talk of placing slots at Rosecroft during the Special Session. It is coming. And when it does come up, they will use pretty words like, “We need to reach the Northern Virginia market” or “We need to save Standard Bred Horse Racing in Maryland.” Already, they have used words like, “There is already gambling there” to try to justify putting slots at Rosecroft. What they won’t reveal is that they have already primed the surrounding areas with locations that have multiple lottery terminals. According to the Washington Post, "Two of the state's three top-grossing Zip codes in lottery sales are inside the Capital Beltway in Prince George's. In Capitol Heights, people bought $26 million worth of scratch-offs, daily numbers and other games last year. Although not all the lottery customers there live in Capitol Heights, the population of the 20743 Zip code is 96 percent black and the proportion of people living in poverty is above the state average. " The gambling interests didn’t need the Washington Post to tell them this. They already knew it, and looked upon these customers as an ideal market to exploit.
    For this reasons listed above, African Americans are rightly suspicious of politicians who pander during elections and then take them for granted during non election years. This session showed us who stands with us, and who does not. There wasn’t talk of Slots in Montgomery County or Howard County, but there was in Laurel (The track property is in Prince George’s and Anne Arundel Counties). Why? Because wealthy residents in those counties wouldn’t stand for it. And how did they get so many wealthy residents? By preserving and growing their equity.
    Again, according to the Washington Post; "Prince George's ranked first in the state last year in total lottery sales, with $277 million. In comparison, Montgomery County, where the population is about 10 percent larger and more affluent, sold only $126 million in tickets, according to lottery agency records." What does that does that translate to? In just 14 years, that $277 million could have been been over $1 billion in equity (10% rate of return). They get tax savings because of our loyalty to the lottery. Their investment portfolios and land holdings have grown by billions as we accumulate more losing lottery tickets. No wonder only 44 percent of African Americans have a positve outlook towards the future! (Recent survey by the Pew Research Center) Don’t blame this inequity on the citizens of the other counties. It rests with the government in Annapolis.
    How can we change this? First, our religious and civil rights leaders have to step up and work together to defeat the Slots Referendum. We cannot empower the government in Annapolis to dictate the quality of life in Prince George’s County. If we fail to act, the crime and addiction that follows the introduction of slots will be our fault for failing to act. I, along with many other residents, have committed to a hard fight to ensure that we -- and not others -- control our quality of life. Even if you were to believe the government’s cherry picked economic numbers, it is easy to see many reasons why Prince Georgians would suffer if the referendum passes.

    The second component is the need for residents to band together to form trusts to build investment equity. W.E.B. Du Bois talked about a talented 10th, but just 1 percent of residents could do wonders in 10 years, 20 years, and perhaps even within a year. In just 10 years, 5,000 residents each contributing $1,000 a year could pay for a $128 million dollar learning academy for our children IN FULL. Or in just over 20 years, these residents could endow a hospital with nearly a billion dollars. The numbers are small on the contributing side, but through compound interest (10%), they pay off big in the long term. Spending just $83.00 a month on Slots will rob us of this opportunity. As a testament to our victory, join with me to make a difference for our children and grandchildren in 2018, 2028 and beyond. For now, lets all fight to keep them safe.

    As for this government, the matriarchs of my family provided me with an unshakeable faith, and as a part of that faith I know the power of repentance and forgiveness. The government must turn aside from the evil that they now openly embrace. My father and grandfathers instilled in me the power to use this faith to stand and fight -- not just for my family, but others who were not as fortunate as mine. I honor my ancestors by using the gifts they gave me to do what is right, and I know others will do the same.

    James Edward Proctor III
    Accokeek Maryland