December 12th, 2009

“He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money.” – Benjamin Franklin

Today’s editorial published in the Contra Costa Times revealed some painful information.  Judith Piper laid out some of the issues with “Doing Business” and how even the most well-intentioned of environmental groups can act myopically.  In the case of Point Molate, the developer hoped to pit one group of “privileged” environmental organizations against all others who were external of the negotiation process.  And he succeeded.  One single “traveling salesman” has successfully helped crack decades of strong environmental cooperation and tradition.  He offered a deal in private to some, while all the others were to wait in the sidelines.

Many of us are saddened and confused by this turn of events.  We are angry, too.  The process that we cherish, the environmental review process which emphasizes cooperation, was dragged through the dirt.  Proper review and analysis of this project was obscured as members of “organizations supporting the casino” have stated comments such as, “this is wasn’t important enough for us to comment on this project”, or even worse, they have simply remained quiet.  Deathly quiet.  When did communication become a dirty word.

We stand by the efforts of the Coalition For a Sustainable Point Molate to help expose facts and impacts about this casino development.  EBCNPS also stands by a process by which the community is empowered to make decisions for the community with all available information laid out on the table.

We still have hope that some courage and rationality will strike those in the negotiating room.  There is still a choice to be made.  There is still a chance to reinvest in the community and those who will have to live with the consequences of poor development practices, most notably, the Citizens of Richmond.

If you’re a member of a local environmental organization, please do yourself a favor and call up the executive director of that organization and ask for a clear answer on “What is our stance on the Point Molate Casino Development”.   Ask questions.  Ask for answers if they’re not given.  Ask what comments were formally made on the EIR/EIS record.  Most importantly, ask for your organization to stand up for the values it has promulgated in its mission statement.

Here’s Judith’s piece.

Here’s the link to the Contra Costa Times newspaper