Thursday, April 02, 2009

Atlanta's Casino - Atlanta devolves into Pottersville?

We are one step away from having a casino in the middle of downtown Atlanta.

"The Atlanta City Council and Mayor Shirley Franklin have endorsed the project. The casino development could help to relieve the city of an estimated $56 million balance on roughly $85 million in bonds issued for redevelopment of the site in the 1980s. "
Read the full article here

All of this brings to mind Yeats -

"The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity...

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? "-Yeats - The Second Coming

Will we allow Atlanta to devolve into Pottersville ? We should demand a referendum on this issue, and demand it straight away before we lose our ability to participate in the process.

Is this the best idea our city and state's business and political leadership can conceive of for this prime real estate? Real estate situated in the middle of our downtown area, across the street from the Capitol building (full of erstwhile "Conservatives"), and adjacent to the largest University student body (GSU) in the Atlanta metro region.. ALL THEY CAN COME UP WITH IS A CASINO?!

Georgia State University, "Founded in 1913 in Atlanta, Georgia State University is the second-largest and one of four research institutions in the University System of Georgia."

Atlanta is a premier national city! We have a strong business community. We have so many great things about our region and the city itself.

Atlanta is not a resort destination.

Atlanta is by no means a flagging metro area desperately stooping to anything in the name of economic development.

This initiative displays a lack of vision, a lack of transparent representative government processes, and exemplifies the power the "machine" has to override the general disposition of the public.

The casino increase law enforcement costs by the increase in organized crime and vice related activity. We can not afford our current law enforcement budget as it is!

There are demonstrable negative impacts that a casino will bring upon our community. These are well researched and documented. Our tax dollars will have to offset these impacts.

Please download this document from University of Chicago as an example. The University of Chicago is home to economic luminaries such as Milton Friedman. Perhaps they understand how to research economic impacts of a given initiative?