Letter to Mayor Marty Walsh

May 6, 2014

 

Mayor Martin Walsh

Boston City Hall

One City Hall Square

Boston, MA 02201

 

Dear Mayor Walsh,

 

We appreciate your vision to strengthen local neighborhoods and to work toward unity that we may be One Boston. As clergy in Boston we share your commitment to the city and the desire for all people to have an opportunity to live peaceful and fruitful lives.

 

In September 2013 the Boston City Council entrusted the residents of East Boston to represent the entire city of Boston in a vote on a casino proposal at Suffolk Downs. The Suffolk Downs property, located in two host communities (East Boston and Revere), required a “Yes” vote in both communities to proceed.

 

It was clear this was never about two different proposals in East Boston or Revere, but always about one proposal at Suffolk Downs.

 

On November 5, 2013, the people of East Boston voted against that proposal. Despite this vote and in direct opposition to the will of the people, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission allowed a proposal to go forward at Suffolk Downs in December 2013.

 

We are deeply concerned by this affront to the democratic process and we stand in solidarity with the East Boston vote. We appreciate your efforts to support the November 5 vote against a casino at Suffolk Downs and we call upon you to continue to use the full resources of the city of Boston to protect the vote of the people who clearly said "No" to a casino.

 

We support business development and job creation that produces long-term economic health in the city. While the possibility of new jobs from the Suffolk Downs proposal is alluring at first glance, a casino’s long-term negative impacts far outweigh the promises.

 

A significant increase in crime rates, the doubling of gambling addictions, and the transfer of revenue from the local economy into casino coffers would harm individuals and families, and would negatively impact local businesses by effectively eliminating 1-2 jobs for every slot machine – and there will be approximately 4,000 slot machines installed at the proposed casino. These impacts would not only be felt in East Boston, but in every neighborhood throughout the city.

 

We join together with you to support the vitality of our neighborhoods, the unity of Boston, and Boston’s vote for a casino free community.

 

Sincerely,

 

Rev. Dr. David Searles, Central Assembly of God Church, East Boston

Rev. Gordon P. Hugenberger, PhD, Park Street Congregational Church, Boston

Rev. Roberto Miranda, PhD, Congregacion Leon de Juda, Boston

Fr. Felipe Gonzales, Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston

Rabbi Ronne Friedman, Temple Israel, Boston

Rev. Neal Armandt, South End Neighborhood Church, Boston

Rabbi Howard Berman, Central Reform Temple, Boston

Rabbi Joseph Berman, Revere

Pastor Tim Bogertman, First Congregational Church, Revere

Rev. Mark Booker, Church of the Cross, Boston

Rev. Lynn Breitenbach, Chi Alpha Campus Ministries, Boston

Rev. Terry Burke, First Church in Jamaica Plain, Unitarian Universalist, Boston

Rev. Steven Chin, Boston Chinese Evangelical Church, Boston

Pastora Alicia Climaco, Iglesia Profetica Internacional Ciudad de Sion, East Boston

Rev. Dr. Gregg Detwiler, Emmanuel Gospel Center, Boston

Rev. Thomas S. Domurat, Most Holy Redeemer Parish, East Boston

Rev. Michael D'Urso, Eagle Heights Church, Revere

Cantor Roy B. Einhorn, Temple Israel, Boston

Rev. Laura E. Everett, Executive Director, Massachusetts Council of Churches, Boston

Rev. Nick Fatato, Common Church, Boston

Imam Ismail Fenni, Yusuf Mosque, Brighton

Rev. Nicholas G. Granitsas, First Congregational Church, Revere

Dr. Douglas Hall, President, Emmanuel Gospel Center, Boston

Judy Hall, Assistant to the President, Emmanuel Gospel Center, Boston

Rabbi Sandi Intraub, Revere

Pastor Jowulu Jaidah, Central Assembly of God Church, East Boston

Rev. Christo A. Kamara, St. Paul's Victory Christian Assembly of God, Mattapan

Rev. Dr. Walter Kim, Park Street Congregational Church, Boston

Pastor Bernardo Leya, Central Assembly of God Church, East Boston

Deacon Frank McHugh, Most Holy Redeemer Parish, East Boston

Rev David C. McNeely, New England Leadership Institute, Dorchester

Rabbi Bernard H. Mehlman, Temple Israel, Boston

Rev. Don Nanstad, Our Saviour's Lutheran Church, East Boston

Rabbi Barbara Penzner, Temple Hillel B'nai Torah, West Roxbury

Kristopher Perkins, Associate Pastor, Park Street Church, Boston

Rev. Peter Raftery, Assembly of God, Boston

Rabbi Victor Reinstein, Nehar Shalom Community Synagogue, Boston

Rev. Israel J. Rodriguez, St. Joseph ́s Parish, Lynn

Rev. Mark Scott, Azusa Christian Community, Boston

Trent Sheppard, Collegiate Chaplain, Alpha New England, East Boston

Dr. Christopher Sherwood, Assistant Pastor, Park Street, Church Boston

Rabbi Matthew Soffer, Temple Israel, Boston

Rev. George Szal, S.M., Immaculate Conception Parish, Revere

Yusufi Vali, Executive Director, Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, Boston

Rev. Wendy Vanderhart, United Church of Christ, Boston

Pastor David Michael Wenrich, Boston Harbor Community Church, Boston

Matthew Whelan, Freedom Mission International & Boston Hope, East Boston

Rev. Ashlee Wiest-Laird, The First Baptist Church, Jamiaca Plain

Pastor Claudio Yeme, Iglesia Palabras de Vida, East Boston

Rev. Louis Zinnanti, Christ the Rock Church, Dorchester

 

*** Institutional affiliation for purposes of identification only.

© 2014 by Friends of East Boston