Letters to the Editor

End gambling casinos in Tukwila – vote no on Advisory Measure No. 1 | Letter

In recent years I’ve watched with great interest how large corporations front themselves as grass roots, community based organizations looking to improve the lives of Americans. Things like the “Clear Skies Initiative” (An industry sponsored initiative which sought to roll back allowable pollution emissions not seen since the 1950’s) and the “Healthy Forest Initiative” (which was a front for logging of old growth timber on protected lands) are typical of what many of us have come to expect.

Someone recently joked that the gambling industry would roll into Tukwila with a phony grass roots title for the purpose of swaying votes in the upcoming election. They even conjectured it would have the word “family” in it. We both had a good laugh but on a less humorous note the casino lobby has now registered a political committee with the Public Disclosure Commission. "Families for a Better Tukwilla."

Evidently these “families” don’t know how to spell their home town.

Not surprisingly, the campaign address listed is not that of a family, but rather that of a casino office in Tukwila. One of the four committee officers is a casino manager. One is a political consultant. Only one of the addresses provided is in Tukwila.

In contrast, the supporters of “Free Tukwila” (www.freetukwila.org) are local families operating on modest revenues generated within the community. Our goal is to reveal the true impacts of casinos.

The costs associated with the darker side of gambling – fraud, theft, homicide, child neglect, domestic violence etc. – outweigh the tax revenues casinos provide by a factor of six to one. Gambling proponents won’t tell you this. What you will get is an industry produced message designed to make you believe casinos are Santa Clause and the tax dollars they provide are free.

Casinos are a business, and by nature serve their own best interests first. Casinos do not improve our city. Casinos are not here to make Tukwila a better place to live. In fact, recent nationwide polling has revealed that they ranked second only to garbage dumps as the most unpopular attribute of a community.

Tukwila is a town with an image in flux. We enjoy a beautiful golf course, parks and playfields. We have backyard wildlife habitats and a river with salmon runs and fishing. On the other hand we are home to more casinos per capita than anywhere else in the state.

With Advisory Measure No. 1 we have a choice to move our community in a positive direction. Do we want Tukwila to be a town where people come to raise their families and businesses enjoy a vibrant community? Or will we be the home of gambling casinos and strip clubs?

The families of Free Tukwila have no special interest groups backing us. Our interest is our community.

Join us. Donate your time. Provide funding. Go to www.freetukwila.org to get the facts.

Vote no on Advisory Measure No. 1.

 

Todd Hutchinson

Tukwila

 

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