NO to the CASINO--NO to the STADIUM
NO to the CASINO--NO to the STADIUM
Way back when, a group of Americans led by one Mr Steve Wyn attempted to put a destination Casino right smack into the Heart of the Downtown Eastside. The fight to stop the Casino was led by Connie Fogal&Harry Rankin, Barb Daniel of DERA, Muggs and Bob from Carnegie, Don Larsen from CRAB Park and Countless other Community Groups. I didn't support the Casino as I believed it would have damaging effects on our Community. I was not willing to accept any of the goodies which were being offerred by Union Boys like Ken Georgetti and his ilk. The Unions were supporting this Casino because of the false pretense of job creation. Thankfully my Community did not buy into the hype and Mr Wyn and his cronies departed back to Vegas.
Now along comes another Mega development which wants to put a Destination Stadium right into the Heart of my Community. The negotiations were conducted without any public consultation and instead of creating a furor as the Casino did, there is barely a whisper. But is this Destination Stadium what my Community wants?
The DTES since the 90's has become somewhat fractured. Often, those with jobs in the poverty industry down here believe the best approach when Destination/Tourist Development interests come along is to accept the deal and try to get what we can for the community in return. In essence, cash in on the deal. Usually this approach manufactures mere crumbs for the Community.
What has the DTES community received in return for supporting the Mega Projects which have come into our Community. Well according to Bladerunners, a job generation program started by Jim Green, 10-15 temporary construction jobs were created for DTES residents in the building of Edgewater Casino. When GM Place was built, Downtown Eastsiders were offerred temporary jobs cleaning toilets when games were being played. As for Woodwards, when the City purchased the property you would have thought Security jobs for DTES citizens would be created. Instead the City hired a Security Company, Premium Security, to patrol the building. No watchman jobs were created for DTES residents.You can bet Jim Green will be supporting the Stadium proposal as will no doubt Councillor Tim Stevenson and as will most of the NPA candidates. In fact already today, Suzanne Anton and Councillor Peter Ladner of the NPA are supporting the Destination Stadium.
Make no mistake folks, this Stadium fight will be similar to the Destination Seaport Casino fight. Because, the announcement comes on the eve of an municipal election campaign, watch for the goodie train to come rolling along. Many opportunistic leaders and poverty industry workers will attempt to cash in.
The Downtown Eastside/Strathcona Neighborhoods have fought Major Development battles before. The Neighborhood battles are Won when No Concessions are accepted. The Freeway fight to save Strathcona/Chinatown was one major win. The Seaport Casino Fight was another. The third fight will obviously be this new downtown Stadium.
Warhorse leaders of the Past will come out to fight this One. Make no mistake, many of us who are principled will not allow our Community Legacies to be destroyed. That's what this Fight will be based on. Our Community Legacies up against the Destination Developers. As a Political candidate and Lifelong resident of the DTES, my Legacy to my People will be to fight this development tooth and nail--without compromize.
Please Join me!
Jamie Lee Hamilton