Saturday, October 27, 2007

SugarHouse Sues; So Long Saylor!


Casino Updates


Despite an aggressive public relations campaign, SugarHouse failed to get public support. They therefore have decided to follow suit with Foxwoods and sue the city.

Their lawsuit is a similar case to Foxwoods. Essentially, they argue the city should be forced to give them all the permits and zoning by the Supreme Court. Their argument is that the city cannot be "obstructionist" -- even to protect the health of its residents.

Let's acknowledge this as a gigantic victory because so many assumed the city and even residents would cave to Sugarhouse pressure. Congratulations to allies in the civic associations, city government, and activist community residents who held the line.

Letters like Councilman DiCicco's have given the city a strong case, where he lays out some of the unaddressed economic questions and social problems. SugarHouse has major outstanding health and public safety issues. But instead of dealing with problems, they are hiding behind their lawyers.

The Supreme Court Justice will decide this issue. We therefore believe this increases the timeliness and appropriateness of targeting Justice Saylor.

If Sugarhouse loses this lawsuit, they have few or no cards left to play. We, on the other hand, still have options, including riparian rights, direct action, and bill 1477.

Read The Inquirer or The Daily News article on this. For a lighter perspective, check out the Metro's blog or harsh satire at Philebrity.


Bill 1477 -- the 1,500-foot buffer zone -- is sitting in the Gaming Oversight Committee. Public pressure made a difference, especially lobbying from our ally the Delaware River Neighborhood Alliance/Philadelphia Neighborhood Alliance and a well-timed letter from Michael Nutter.

Now Harold James, the chairperson, has promised to put the bill up for a vote in committee. No date has been set, but we expect it to be very soon.

We need to win that vote. Take action and call state representatives regarding bill 1477 at:

If you would like to recieve semi-daily updates on casino-related news, please e-mail

The result: The Guy Who Stole Your Vote, Does not Deserve Yours

90% of CFP subscribers say "So Long Saylor"!

We've never taken a position on a candidate before, but this is important. On November 6th, Casino-Free Philadelphia asks everyone to vote "no" on Justice Thomas G. Saylor.

We take this extraordinary step because Justice Saylor supported the completely undemocratic manner in which casinos are being forced on to our city. His support for Act 71, passed in the middle of the night with no public scrutiny, opened the door for this casino debacle.

We urge you to vote NO to Justice Saylor because he failed to defend the rights of Philadelphia's citizens to vote on whether to allow casinos to be built right next to our neighborhoods. We demand his removal because Justice Saylor has shown utter disrespect for the Constitution of the Commonwealth and scorn for the voters.

Please help us get out the word:

Tell your neighbors and friends: Print out this PDF document

Get more information on Casino-Free Philadelphia's rationale and statement at:

Exciting Upcoming Trainings

  • How to Never Rally or March Again -- Creating New Tactics, October 30th
  • Media Training, November 8th

Please note: These workshops are open to everyone from any social movement or social justice campaign. Special invitiations are given to anyone within the anti-casino OR casino re-siting movement. Co-sponsored with the Bread and Roses' Barbara Smith Community School.

All workshops by donation only -- suggested $5-25 sliding scale. No one turned away due to lack of funds.

To register, e-mail


[creating new, innovative tactics]

Are you tired of rallying or marching? Do you want to create media-friendly actions? Want to design more powerful actions? Get some new ideas, new tactics and increase your creativity in designing your own actions.

In this workshop you will learn:

  • a tool to analyze the effectiveness of tactics;
  • hear stories and get stories of different innovative tactics;
  • practice creating your own actions to match your goals; and
  • learn more about how tactics fit best into campaigns.

Where: Casino-Free Philadelphia headquarters (230 North 2nd Street)
When: October 30th at 7-9pm

This workshop is led by Daniel Hunter. In addition to his work with Casino-Free Philadelphia, Daniel Hunter has led hundreds of trainings for social justice groups around the world. He is happy to work with your group or organization in strategizing.


Learn tips of how to communicate with the press. Get beyond just writing good press releases into the world of building relationships and designing actions that are media-friendly.

In this workshop you will learn:

  • the values of journalism and how activists can access it;
  • how media can assist your movement (and how it can hurt); and
  • skills in identifying and talking to journalists about your issue.

Where: Casino-Free Philadelphia headquarters (230 North 2nd Street)
When: November 8th from 7-9pm

Daniel Hunter, co-coordinator of Casino-Free Philadelphia and Karim Oleachea, the past Communications Director of Casino-Free Philadelphia co-lead. In working with Casino-Free Philadelphia, they have gotten thousands of media articles, including national press attention. They want everyone to learn how to get media.

What's next for us?

We're gearing up for direct action, working on getting the word about Saylor, and examining legal responses to Sugarhouse's lawsuit. Casino-Free Philadelphia can use your support -- by passing out the handout at events and rallies -- and through your financial contribution.

Making a donation is easy. You can go to to make an online donation. OR you can write a check to Casino-Free Philadelphia and send it to: PO Box 63724, Philadelphia, PA. Thanks!


- Jethro Heiko, Daniel Hunter, and Nico Amador
Casino-Free Philadelphia

Casino-Free Philadelphia | PO Box 63724, Philadelphia, PA 19147 |

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