Press Resources

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
View Our Letters to Mass Gaming Commission and Suffolk Downs
 
 
Quotes from our local ministers
 

“I realize that we live in difficult economic times, but that is no reason for our great Commonwealth to resort to inviting into our midst a business that will inevitably cause more human suffering. The people of East Boston deserve better.”    

- Fr. Thomas Domurat, Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church

 

“Do not sell our city for slot machines.  God has something better for us and for this city.  Let’s vote ‘no’ on the proposed casino on November 5th.”    

 

- Rev. Alicia Climaco, Iglesia Profetica Internacional Ciudad de Sion

 

“Jesus said, ‘Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God.  Our town does not belong to Caesars Entertainment.  For our families and for our future, it’s time for solidarity – it’s time for action.”       

 

- Rev. David Searles, Central Assembly of God

 

"Thirty-three years ago, when my family moved to East Boston, we had a 'gambling industry' then - organized crime.  Now, we are told its going to be a good thing.  We need to remember what Jesus once said, 'Beware of false prophets who come in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves' (Matthew 7:15-16).  On the other hand, wolves eat only what they need to survive, like all natural creatures.  A casino is more like a cancer which eats everything until it begins to kill the body, the community which is its 'host'." 

 

- Rev. Don Nanstad, Our Saviour's Lutheran Church

 

"Stand at our waterfront in East Boston at Piers Park and tell me the God honest truth, who has the better view over the harbor?  We do!  Tens of thousands of jobs are waiting to be developed in East Boston along our waterfront.  Where are our waterfront restaurants?  Where are our entertainment venues looking over the harbor?   Where is our ship building museum and destinations for Boston families to enjoy? 

 

"Where is the vision for the development of East Boston by our city officials?  Why is their vision so small for our community?  What is the vision they have settled on?   They want to dump a casino in the middle of refinery gas tanks and turn us into the driveway for Massachusetts gambling.  That’s their vision for East Boston!  We are better than that; East Boston is better than that!"

 

"For these reasons I stand here with these ministers from East Boston and call people of faith from our churches, synagogues, mosques and all people of goodwill all throughout greater Boston to stand with them in having a much greater vision of what East Boston is and can be, a vision that far surpasses a casino dumped in the middle of gas tanks."   

 

- Rev. Kris Perkins, Associate Minister of historic Park Street Church and a resident of East Boston

 

"We need an economic recovery built on sustainable, honest industry. Casinos are inherently unsustainable and they destroy families. Let's keep Eastie family-friendly and poised for sustainable growth, let's vote NO CASINO." 

 

- Fr. Brian Morelli, East Boston resident and Anglican Priest, Anglican Diocese in New England

 

"In all honesty, it’s hard for ministers to agree on anything. Like most people, we’re habitually stubborn, we regularly wrestle with pride, and far too often we let our disagreements get in the way of us working together. Any honest assessment of religious history will show you that.  But when it comes to the potential of a casino in East Boston, we're in complete agreement: God has something better for this town than a casino."

 

- Trent Sheppard, Collegiate Chaplain for Alpha New England and a resident of East Boston

 

“We’re thrilled pastors are encouraging their people towards action as it relates to this pressing local concern, because regardless of race, culture or creed, the damaging consequences of a casino in our neighborhood will affect us all.”    

- Jessica Curtis, Policy Director of No Eastie Casino 

 

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Press Release October 31, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Contact:  friendsofeastboston@gmail.com

 

East Boston Clergy Urge Suffolk Downs to Withdraw Application:

‘It’s the right thing to do, and there’s still time to do it.’

 

In an open letter addressed to Suffolk Downs, elected officials, and the people of East Boston, an influential coalition of East Boston ministers are urging Suffolk Downs to withdraw their application for a casino in the community.

 

“It’s hard for ministers to agree on anything,” the letter states, “but when it comes to the potential of a casino in East Boston, we’re in complete agreement: God has something better for this town than a casino.”

 

The letter is sponsored by Friends of East Boston, a local movement of more than thirty ministers – representing multiple faith traditions and ethnic heritages – who are working together in an historic display of unity to mobilize their congregations and the wider community to deliver a resounding “NO” to the proposed casino on November 5.

 

“In more than fifteen years of ministry, I have never seen this sort of solidarity and resolve among so diverse a group of clergy,” said Trent Sheppard, a college chaplain and local East Boston resident who helped draft the letter.  “This issue has clearly struck a community nerve.”

 

Utilizing recent and practical research on gambling’s adverse impact on job creation – particularly as it relates to slot machines, of which there will be more than 4,000 at the proposed casino – the ministers maintain a casino at Suffolk Downs will most likely take more jobs from East Boston than it will ever provide, “and that’s just not a gamble this town needs to take.”

 

Their strongest words are reserved for the recent public fiasco involving Caesars Entertainment, Suffolk Downs’ operating partner until two weeks ago.  “Does Suffolk Downs deserve another chance to play with the future of our community?” ask the ministers.  “Plainly, it does not.  The stakes are just too high.”

 

In a hopeful move towards reconciliation, however, the letter concludes by suggesting a “significant and representative conversation” about East Boston’s future once the casino is voted down – a conversation that would include “how we can honor the local history of Suffolk Downs, attract business investors who are on the cutting edge of urban development and new technology, create thousands of sustainable jobs on our stunning waterfront, preserve the rich immigrant diversity for which East Boston is known, and together shape a bright future for our historic American town.”

 

To read the letter in full, go to www.friendsofeastboston.com.

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Press Release October 14, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Contact:  friendsofeastboston@gmail.com

 

East Boston Clergy: ‘It’s Time for Solidarity – It’s Time for Action’

 

In an historic display of unity, East Boston ministers – representing multiple faith traditions and

ethnic heritages – are urging their congregations, small business owners, nonprofit leaders and

concerned residents towards a ‘Day of Solidarity and Action’ in opposition to the proposed casino

at Suffolk Downs.

 

The Friends of East Boston, a grassroots network of more than thirty local ministers, are

organizing the multi-congregation event, which will be commissioned into action from Most

Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, on Sunday, October 20, after Mass.

 

“I realize we live in difficult economic times, but that is no reason for our great Commonwealth

to resort to inviting into our midst a business that will inevitably cause more human suffering,”

says Fr. Thomas Domurat, pastor of Most Holy Redeemer and founding member of Friends of

East Boston. “The people of East Boston deserve better.”

 

The ministers join a growing movement of strong, local voices urging a casino-free future for

their community. “We’re thrilled pastors are encouraging their people towards action as it

relates to this pressing local concern,” states Jessica Curtis, Policy Director of No Eastie Casino,

“because regardless of race, culture or creed, the damaging consequences of a casino in our

neighborhood will affect us all.”

 

Members of the Friends of East Boston oppose the casino because of its affect on crime,

addiction, pollution, bankruptcy, insurance rates, and other impacts, but leaders stress the group

does not exist simply to be against a casino in our community. They say they oppose this project

because East Boston’s best days are yet to come – and they’ll be casino-free.

 

“Jesus said, ‘Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God,’” explains

Rev. David Searles, pastor of Central Assembly of God on Bennington Street. “Our town does

not belong to Caesars Entertainment,” referencing the multinational company behind the casino

bid. “For our families and for our future, it’s time for solidarity – it’s time for action.”

 

A joint press conference organized by the Friends of East Boston and No Eastie Casino will be

held on Tuesday, October 15, at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church on Paris Street, at 10 AM.

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Press Release September 30, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Contact:  friendsofeastboston@gmail.com

 

Clergy: ‘The People of East Boston Deserve Better’ Than Casino

 

For the first time in living memory, East Boston ministers — representing various faith traditions

and ethnic heritages — have gathered as one around a pressing local issue they believe will

change the face of the neighborhood in which they work and worship. In addition to clergy, the

Friends of East Boston are comprised of small business leaders, nonprofit leaders, and others who

agree that their community deserves better than a casino.

 

“I realize that we live in difficult economic times, but that is no reason for our great

Commonwealth to resort to inviting into our midst a business that will inevitably cause more

human suffering,” said Fr. Thomas Domurat, pastor of the historic Most Holy Redeemer Catholic

Church on London Street. “The people of East Boston deserve better.”

 

Fr. Domurat is a founding member of the Friends of East Boston, which today announces a

neighborhood-wide petition drive, led by the congregations, small businesses and nonprofit

organizations, to give residents a venue to firmly state their opposition to the development of a

casino at Suffolk Downs. These organizations will collect more than 5,000 signatures in East

Boston and together deliver the signed petition to the doorstep of Suffolk Downs as a statement of

solidarity and resolve.

 

In addition to the petition, ministers have agreed to lead their congregations in several weeks of

prayer for positive future development in East Boston and preach to their congregations about the

harmful effects a casino will have in their neighborhood. And taking comfort from the story of

David and Goliath, the group’s final common task is to engage the larger community around the

casino issue and directly oppose Suffolk Downs’ pro-casino campaign with collective action.

Members of the Friends of East Boston oppose the casino because of its affect on crime,

addiction, pollution, bankruptcy, insurance rates, and other impacts, but leaders stress the group

does not exist simply to be against a casino in our community. They say they oppose this project

because East Boston’s best days are yet to come – and they’ll be casino-free.

 

“Do not sell our city for slot machines,” said Rev. Alicia Climaco, pastor of Iglesia Profetica

Ciudad de Sion. “God has something better for us and for this city. Let’s vote ‘no’ on the

proposed casino on November 5th.”

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© 2014 by Friends of East Boston