By Common Council President Willie L. Hines, Jr.
The Common Council last month voted unanimously to oppose the proposed casino for the Kenosha area.
The reason that we voted as one in opposition to the new casino is that the project would cost Milwaukee a huge number of jobs.
At a time in which job creation and retention are the top priority at every level of government, it would be counter-productive to approve a project that may benefit some at the expense of thousands of other Wisconsin residents.
We are asking Governor Scott Walker to reject the casino proposal because we believe strongly in keeping those jobs here in Milwaukee.
It is estimated that Milwaukee will lose as many as 3,000 direct and indirect jobs if the Kenosha casino scheme is approved.
Many of those jobs belong to citizens who live in parts of our city that have been hit hardest by unemployment and housing foreclosures.
The Potawatomi have consistently provided people of color in Milwaukee with good-paying jobs.
Like our city, the casino reflects the majority-minority composition of Milwaukee’s population.
If the Governor chooses to approve the Kenosha casino scheme the jobs lost will be in neighborhoods that are largely minority and the hardest hit by the recession.
These hardworking people are the backbone of Milwaukee and we must fight to keep their jobs secure.
Frankly, we must do all we can to make sure Milwaukee does not suffer avoidable economic damage.
At a time when Wisconsin is looking to create sustainable, family-supporting jobs we should not be engaged in a jobs shell game that robs Peter to pay Paul.
The Governor has pledged to create 250,000 new jobs in Wisconsin during his term.
I applaud his bold vision and pledge my support in having Milwaukee lead the way.
However, approving this Kenosha casino scheme does nothing to help us achieve that goal.
For the sake of the 3,000 workers here in Milwaukee whose jobs hang in the balance, I hope the Governor soon puts this Kenosha distraction behind us so that we can all roll up our sleeves and get to work creating real jobs for those people who need them most.