Thursday, August 31, 2017

CA Assembly Committee Hears Opposition on Fast-Tracked Elk Grove Casino Indian Gaming Compact

The hearing included compact proponents from the Governor's office, Cooper, Elk Grove Council Members Pat Hume and Stephanie Nguyen, and Wilton Rancheria Chairman Raymond Hitchcock. Unlike the Senate committee hearing, Assemblymembers heard more opposition to the gaming compact.   Assembly floor vote is scheduled for Thursday, August 31.

Appearing again in opposition to the compact was Lisa Jimenez, Chair of the Historical Disenrolled Families of the Wilton Rancheria. Jimenez said there were more than 100 members disenrolled based on a new constitution.

"Most tribes want to preserve their heritage," Jimenez said. "Not this tribe."

She added, "They are disenrolling because less is more, I don't care about the casino, I care about our people."

Jacob Aaronson, who spoke on behalf of casino watchdog group Stand Up For California and other Elk Grove citizens opposed to the casino noting the Bureau of Indian affairs rushed their procedures to place the land into federal trust in the waning hours of the Obama administration.

"They violated multiple federal laws when they took the Elk Grove site into trust," he said. "And we have challenged that decision in federal court."

Aaronson went on to say the process by the Elk Grove City Council "blindsided the citizens of Elk Grove." He noted for two-and-a-half years the process for finding a site for the casino focused on a 282-acre parcel in Galt, but in June, 2016 the location was suddenly changed to Elk Grove which should have required a new environmental review process.

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