Legislating morality a road full of danger | Letter

Just before we left on vacation, I read Jenny McCoy’s letter about the casino jobs in the online version of the Tukwila Reporter. She dismissed the jobs as low paying and sometimes just part time.

Just before we left on vacation, I read Jenny McCoy’s letter about the casino jobs in the online version of the Tukwila Reporter.  She dismissed the jobs as low paying and sometimes just part time.

All through our vacation, my thoughts often went to my parents and Mrs. McCoy’s letter.  As I was growing up, my parents held exactly the kind of jobs that the letter dismisses.  My mom worked retail jobs, often part time. My dad worked a variety of blue collar jobs. Sometimes their combined income was a little better, sometimes not so good.  But my brother and I always had food, clean clothes for school and a roof over our heads. It wasn’t always easy but they took pride in doing their best for their family.

I thought about how my dad would respond to Mrs. McCoy. I think he would ask, “Who gets to judge whether or not someone else’s job is good enough?“

Then I remembered a young man who attended a City Council meeting a few months ago.  He was a casino employee who came to ask the council to change their minds and rescind Ordinance 2323.  Simply but eloquently, he spoke about how important his job was to his family.  He said that his job enabled him and his wife to provide for their children and he wanted to keep it.

I do not believe that Mrs. McCoy is concerned about how much the casino employees are paid. I believe that Mrs. McCoy wants the jobs to disappear simply because she feels the industry they are in is immoral.  That is what is at the core of the anti-gambling campaign, not that it threatens public safety or has low paying jobs, but that it does not fit their moral framework.  Legislating morality instead of looking for compromise and the common good is a road full of quicksand.  I hope our City Council will be more careful in the future when setting city policy.


Marie Parrish



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