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Voter advocates economic growth, but not via casinos

October 16, 2013

I am voting “no” to the proposition that would allow additional casinos to be established in New York State and I hope to convince you to vote “no” as well.

Living in the mid-Hudson Valley for over 20 years, I am aware of how many villages, towns and cities in this area struggle to find employment for their citizens and a way to prosper. It has been demonstrated that casinos do not provide employment for many townspeople over time, but only worsen the gap between rich and poor and increase the need for services such as police and rehabilitation. If you go to the website stoppreditorygambling.org, you can find new information on the issues surrounding casinos from the Rockefeller Institute Report and other social science studies that have been done.

How can towns grow economically and have a sustainable economy? There is no one magic answer, but there are many hopeful attempts at reversing the downward spiral. Food production flourishes in this area, not just the growing of food but preparing it in unique ways from what is grown in the orchards and gardens and made from milk of pasture animals. Small manufacturing ventures can find affordable land locally and transportation for their finished products. Artists have long been attracted to the natural beauty of the area and the less expensive costs of land to establish studios and homes. Recreation opportunities for people from New York City who want nearby hiking, biking and skiing opportunities are available.

But casinos that produce no goods, addict people who have marginal incomes to begin with, and attract criminal elements to the locale cannot help grow a sustainable economy. I urge you to join me in voting “no” to the Proposition Number 1 on the November 5 ballot.

Doris Goldberg
Woodstock, NY