Friday, November 30, 2007

Civil Rights Org. Opposes Big 4 compacts

Civil Rights Organization Opposes Compacts with Big 4 Tribes
TEMECULA, CA - The American Indian Rights and Resources Organization ("AIRRO"), a civil rights advocacy group, has joined the growing number of tribes, labor unions, and environmental groups in opposition to the gaming compacts signed with the Pechanga, Morongo, Sycuan, and Agua Caliente Tribes. AIRRO cited the failure of the Governor, the tribes, and the State Legislature to include language in the compacts that would protect and preserve the basic human and civil rights of tribal employees, casino patrons, and the thousands of others who do business with the tribes.

"The expansion of tribal gaming in California has seen an increase in the number of human and civil rights violations, especially within Tribes that have gaming operations," stated AIRRO President, John Gomez, Jr. "These compacts were the perfect place to address these rights issues and to protect California citizens from further abuses."

"The Governor and the State Legislature let the citizens of California down in negotiating and approving these compacts. Fortunately, the voters of California will have an opportunity to vote "No" on these compacts and force the Big 4 tribes back to the drawing board to negotiate new compacts- compacts that are fair to California's citizens and respect basic rights."

AIRRO also believes that the compacts with the Big 4 tribes fail to adhere to the purpose and intent of previous gaming initiatives where California voters were led to believe that Indian gaming would benefit all California Indians.
"A news article in the Sacramento Bee estimated that only a small percentage of California Indians actually benefit from Indian Gaming," said Gomez. "With the rise in human and civil rights violations in California Indian Country, we expect that the percentage may be even less as thousands of California Indians have been stripped of or denied citizenship in their tribes. As a result, these dis-enfranchised Indians have been cut-off from or denied health care benefits, elder benefits, education assistance, and other social services provided by their tribal governments. Most must now avail themselves of state and federal programs at taxpayer expense."
Along with several other organizations, AIRRO has signed the ballot arguments in opposition to the Big 4 tribes' compacts. The ballot arguments provide voters information on the proposed ballot initiatives and are distributed to all of California's registered voters.

For more information on the American Indian Rights and Resources Organization, go to or email OP: Please join AIRRO if you aren't already a member

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