Local Residents OVERWHELMINGLY Oppose Graton Mega-Casino
New "Flash" poll finds 68% oppose project with just 16% in support
Today, the Stop the Casino 101 Coalition and Petaluma City Councilmember Mike Healy released the results of a flash poll taken over the weekend on public sentiment towards the proposed mega-casino in Sonoma County.
They called on the Legislature to listen to these finding and refuse to ratify the proposed compact between the Governor and the Graton tribe.
The poll directly contradicts casino supporters' claims that the majority of area residents support the casino. The flash poll, which covered five zip codes including Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Southwest Santa Rosa and Penngrove, found 68% of local residents oppose the project. The poll surveyed over 5,400 residents.
"The Governor has fast-tracked this. The Senate will have a hearing tomorrow. We thought it was important to bring the voice of the people to Sacramento as effectively as we could," said Pastor Chip Worthington, founder of Stop the Casino 101 Coalition (STC101).
"It's simple. Local opposition is vast. Few support this project. We need the Legislature to put the brakes on this," added Pastor Worthington.
In 2003, the Graton Rancheria proposed a 350,000 square foot casino with 1,500 slot machines. That project has now grown to 540,000 square feet with 3,000 slot machines. It will be the largest commercial project in Sonoma County's history, and the state's first urban casino.
The Graton Rancheria gambling compact was signed on March 30, 2012. The ratification bill, AB 517 (Hall-D Compton) has been given an "urgency" status to accommodate Station Casinos' funding efforts. If passed, it would go into effect immediately. If the bill had "non-urgency status, it wouldn't go into effect until January 2013.
"A casino would bring massive harm to our community and impact every member of it. Crime will increase, traffic will gridlock, and family finances will be ruined. The only people to benefit from a mega-casino are the few members of the tribe and their outside investors," said Petaluma City Councilmember Mike Healy.
AB 517 will be the subject of a Senate Governmental Organizations Hearing on Tuesday, May 1, 2012, at 9:30 am in Room 4203 of the State Capitol building. Only 14 senators are needed to kill the bill.
The official results of the automated phone survey were as follows:
Total Households Reached: 5425