There are several reasons why Connecticut's Congressional Delegation should support the Golden Hill Paugussett Tribe's quest federal recognition. For political, economic, and/or social reasons, the Tribe's attainment of federal recognition and the concomitant construction of a gaming facility coincide with the State's best interest. There are four area's which, when fully analyzed, suggest support by the Connecticut Delegation: (1) Predominant State Political Issues; (2) Transaction Specific Benefits; (3) National Considerations; and (4) Beneficiaries.
PREDOMINANT STATE POLITICAL ISSUES
Economic Community Development; Jobs (Minority/Youth/Gang Violence); Local Property Tax Relief; Education Enhancement; Welfare Reform.
The Tribe's proposed gaming facility would invariably add several thousands of jobs to an area which badly needs economic assistance. The Tribe's plan would include substantial development in one of Connecticut's most economically deprived city's, resulting in employment and business opportunities in an area which badly needs infusion of capital, new industry and the creations of jobs. The long-term impact to the region of construction and operation of an Indian gaming facility, given its proximity to New York, would invariably bring substantial revenue into the State. What is particularly intriguing about this is that money made by the Tribe would stay in Connecticut and not be exported to Las Vegas or Atlantic City. The fact that Chief Quiet Hawk is a former Connecticut Social Worker, who has a long-standing track record of commitment to minority communities and the employment of young members of minority communities, is also extremely positive. This would invariably offer a positive employment alternative to gang membership for urban minority youths in Southern Connecticut. The Tribe's Community Development Plan for Bridgeport, also endorsed by the NAACP, is a promising alternative of private sector funding of urban renewal. Needless to say, the City of Bridgeport would benefit directly from casino revenues and would be able to apply substantial revenues to a variety of community needs and developmental projects.
Assuming that the. State could mirror its "exclusive" slots arrangement with the Mashantucket Pequots and the Mohegans, the State would also be able to virtually double monies available for urban centers across the State -- providing substantial local property tax relief. These monies would also be available for educational enhancement. The Tribe has also developed plans for direct educational assistance by the Tribe for communities in need.
TRANSACTION SPECIFIC BENEFITS
Release of Land Claims; Avoidance of Additional Litigation/Claims; Money for Bridgeport; Justice Native American Development and Preservation.
As a result of the Tribe attaining federal recognition, all present and future land claims by the Tribe would be released. This would provide both immediate and long term relief to potentially hundreds of thousands of homeowners in Southern and Western Connecticut and avoid years of litigation clogging up State and Federal Courts. Substantial monies would also be immediately available for the City of Bridgeport. There would also be justice for the Tribe which has been denied rights relative to lands wrongly taken from it over the last three hundred years. Additionally, Connecticut would be helping to preserve its Native American culture which would, through its own development, be a continuing source of pride for the State. As previously mentioned, particularly noteworthy is that virtually all the money from a gaming facility owned and operated by the Tribe in Bridgeport would stay in Connecticut.
Urban Development Without Direct Federal Monies; Social Justice.
The notion of substantial urban development in Bridgeport (proposed home of the Tribe's future reservation) is also significant. Chief Quiet Hawk is committed to the communities where his Tribe, mostly now scattered and primarily now urban and poor, has been relegated over the past 100 years. Tribal commitment to urban redevelopment with tribal funds would constitute a national showpiece for Connecticut.
The furtherance of Native American Rights and minority advancement would also be of consequence. This is particularly true given the National NAACP's endorsement of the Tribe and Connecticut's present rather dubious distinction of having passed unconstitutional laws which have sought to deny the Tribe its legal rights in a recent Special Session of the Connecticut General Assembly.
All State Taxpayers, All Urban Residents of Connecticut; Urban Youths; People of Bridgeport; Southern and Western Connecticut Landowners;Tribe.
Given the substantial revenue projections, all State taxpayers would greatly benefit from a Golden Hill gaming facility in Bridgeport. This would particularly benefit all urban residents of the State and provide an immediate opportunity for property tax relief. Given the Tribe's personal commitment to urban (and especially minority) youths, great new employment and job training opportunities would also be available. The citizens of Bridgeport would benefit directly from a percentage of the revenues of the casino. Substantial new employment opportunities and economic development would be created throughout the greater Bridgeport area. Southern and Western Connecticut landowners would have their titles to their property fully cleared. The Tribe would receive the justice it has been denied for over 300 years.
Predominant state political issues, transaction specific benefits, national considerations, the responsibility of the state as "overseers" of the Golden Hill Tribe and a vast array of potential beneficiaries suggest a myriad of reasons why Connecticut's Congressional delegation should support the Golden Hill Paugussett Tribe's federal recognition.
STATE POLITICAL ISSUES
URBAN DEVELOPMENT WITHOUT GOVERNMENT MONEY HOUSING JOBS ETC.
* ALL MONEY STAYS IN CONNECTICUT
* SOCIAL JUSTICE
NATIVE AMERICAN RIGHTS