The Referendum

January 4, 2012
By

There is to be a referendum in East Boston and in Revere on the casino question. That question to the voters in East Boston and Revere is this: will you vote to allow a casino at Suffolk Downs or not?

A number of Boston city councilors are asking that the entire city of Boston be made part of the referendum and for the entire city to vote on the measure.

In a perfect world, such a citywide vote would make good sense. But the world we live in is not perfect. Boston voters living in every ward and precinct are not living in the neighborhood of the city where the casino will be hosted – and that is East Boston (and Revere).

Granted, they are all living in Boston but who in the Boston wards on the other side of the Mystic River except for the mayor gives a hoot about what goes on in East Boston?

There were no citywide referendums required when Logan Airport became the chief polluter, noisemaker and traffic capital of the New England region.

We do not hear any public official let alone voters from West Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Charlestown, et al, wishing to make their opinions heard about higher cancer rates here because of jet engine pollution falling onto East Boston from the thousands upon thousands of airplanes flying overhead everyday of the year, year after year, for decades and on forever, it would appear.

Do the people of Mattapan, Dorchester and Roxbury take any interest at all in what happens in East Boston?

Not really.

A citywide referendum might as well be expanded into a statewide referendum if we really want to get technical about exploring the casino issue.

That isn’t going to happen because the Legislature has already passed the expanded gambling bill which was signed by the governor and it stands as law.

To date, there have been no torchlight parades against expanded gambling.

In Foxboro, however, the town council voted 3-2 against allowing the Kraft-Wynn casino team from presenting their plan to the board.

That was bad news for the Kraft-Wynn team.

It was good news for the folks at Suffolk Downs.

A citywide referendum on whether or not the voters of East Boston and Revere are qualified to make decisions of their own is a slap on the face to East Boston and Revere voters.

All politics is local, said the late great Speaker of the House from Massachusetts Tip O’Neill.

Nearly the entire city of Boston is located on the other side of the Mystic River.

We don’t need those people living there helping us out in making a decision that affects us when it has nothing whatsoever to do with them.

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