the fight against philadelphia's chinatown casino plans

The fight to prevent a casino from being built in Philadelphia's Chinatown rages on: Philadelphia's Chinatown seeks to keep out casino. This week, the Philadelphia City Council approved two pieces of legislation that could help Foxwoods build a slots parlor at the Gallery, the city's downtown shopping mall—right at the entrance of Chinatown: City Council approves casino zoning change legislation.

The vote came just one day after Chinatown leaders and anti-casino activists presented Mayor Michael Nutter with a stack of over 23,000 petitions signed by people opposed to putting a casino in their neighborhood. And earlier in the month, between 600 to 1,000 people marched to City Hall for a five-hour public hearing, making it the largest anti-casino rally in the state.

Philadelphia's leaders have utterly ignored Chinatown's voices every step of the way. I don't understand how the city can proceed with the casino and turn a deaf ear to so many crying out in opposition. Don't people have a say in something that directly affects their community?

This is a good commentary by Andrew Leong in The Philadelphia Inquirer on the negative impact a casino would have on Asian Americans and the Chinatown community, on multiple levels: Casino: Creating another injustice. He basically calls out the casino plans for what it really is: environmental racism. That's racist!

Foxwoods still needs to submit a plan of development to City Hall and get approval from the state Gaming Board. The fight continues. For more information on the issue, visit the Asian Americans United website here. Also visit Casino-Free Philadelphia. And the Facebook group Students Against the Gallery Casino.

UPDATE: What can you do? Helen Gym of Asian Americans United recommends that if you're concerned about this issue, call Mayor Michael Nutter's office to ask him to veto the legislation: 215-686-2181. He is expected to sign the legislation imminently.

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