Richmond Casino Rejection Latest Blow to Black Community, Mayor Says

Posted on: January 13, 2022, 01:00h. 

Final up to date on: January 13, 2022, 01:00h.

A $565 million Richmond on line casino referendum was carefully rejected through the November 2021 election. With extra prosperous neighborhoods the place the inhabitants skews white being cited for the venture’s dismissal, the mayor of the Virginia capital says the end result was yet one more disappointment to minority residents.

Richmond casino Levar Stoney Urban One
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney speaks at Metropolis Corridor final 12 months. Stoney says the current metropolis vote rejecting a proposed on line casino may trace that the town has a methods to go to higher implement minority participation in financial initiatives. (Picture: Levar Stoney)

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney (D) spoke lately with the Richmond Times-Dispatch the place he expressed his opinion {that a} substantial factor of the town’s inhabitants doesn’t really feel welcomed and included on the subject of financial improvement.

“There are black and brown individuals who grew up in Richmond who say, ‘I really like Richmond, however generally I don’t suppose Richmond loves me again.’ That’s devastating to listen to,” Stoney acknowledged.

The mayor believes the on line casino vote was one other setback for minorities. City One, a Black-owned media conglomerate that concerned roughly 50 traders who establish as non-white, was behind the $565 million ONE On line casino + Resort pitch.

Richmond was one in every of 5 cities that certified to think about a single on line casino improvement beneath laws signed into legislation final 12 months by Gov. Ralph Northam (D). The 4 different cities all held profitable native referendums approving their on line casino developments.

‘They’ In opposition to ‘Us’

Stoney reveals that lots of the individuals he speaks to on the town argue that their voices aren’t heard. And the on line casino vote was an exemplary reminder that whites proceed to keep up energy and management of the Virginia capital.

They stated, ‘I’ve been residing right here my entire life. Why don’t they allow us to have something that we wish?’” Stoney added. When pressed to make clear who “they” are, the mayor answered “the naysayers and detractors.”

“Those that need Richmond to be what it was within the 1960s or 1980s,” Stoney clarified.

City One CEO Alfred Liggins says Richmond has a “dismal observe report on the subject of financial inclusion for African-People.” Voters rejected his on line casino 51-49 % final November, however exit polling in districts north of the James River the place whites characterize the bulk voted round 2-1 in opposition to the on line casino.

ONE On line casino + Resort was focusing on land south of the town subsequent to the Philip Morris plant alongside I-95.

Richmond Metropolis Councilmember Reva Trammell is main an effort to carry a second referendum relating to the on line casino. Trammell says her constituents within the eighth District — which is close to the place City One sought to construct its on line casino resort — need the event and its related jobs.

“I’m doing what my individuals have requested me to do,” Trammell stated of her choice to introduce a decision to the council to provoke a second vote.

Subsequent Steps TBD

Stoney says he hasn’t fashioned an opinion on whether or not he’ll assist Trammell’s effort to re-ask voters about the casino. However he understands why the councilwoman and others need one other shot at approving the resort.

When we’ve got 1,500 good paying jobs on the road, that’s a lifeline for households,” Stoney declared. “Nobody must be stunned that some individuals need one other shot.”

Virginia state Sen. Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond) was stunned, and he’s in opposition to one other referendum. Morrissey says such an effort goes in opposition to the democratic course of. He instead favors passing legislation on the state stage to permit close by Petersburg to ask its personal residents whether or not they wish to welcome the on line casino.

Morrissey believes a on line casino in Petersburg south of Richmond would profit the area as a complete.

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