Election season is upon us. Amidst the roil and rumble of state and national issues, the biggest local issue we will decide on November 6 is whether to prohibit video gambling in Forest Park bars. I plan to vote “YES” on this referendum.
Signs for and against the referendum are sprouting like weeds in the front yards of town. Bars supporting gambling are posting HUGE signs! No one likes them. I don’t like them! Yet, they stand proxy for important voices wanting to be heard, no matter which side you are on. If you’d like a “YES” sign, just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get one right over to you!
Soon, people from both sides may be knocking at your door. Those of us working to reinstate the long-standing prohibition—the “YES” team—are your friends and neighbors. We are happy to discuss the various reasons we want to restore the gambling prohibition and protect Small Town Charm for years to come.
The gambling lobby (the “no team”) has the money —$35,000 at last count, I kid you not— to hire lobbying consultants and people to knock on doors. They can flood your mailbox with flyers, while those of us against expanding gambling are reliant on the efforts of everyday citizens. I urge you to check the claims of any flyers you receive. We strive to be honest and transparent in our materials. We should all be grateful for the Forest Park Review’s efforts to verify claims from both sides.
Our group of Forest Park residents does not have deep pockets. We are so grateful for your help with funding the legal efforts we have had to muster over the past three years of this initiative. Thank you! We do not have the resources the “NO” team has to hire canvassers, make huge signs, or hire outside organizers. We can’t buy you pizza and beer. We are doing our work around kitchen tables and basement ping pong tables. Our families help us collate flyers, our trunks are full of yard signs to deliver, our computers have too many open tabs of sites with research about the effects of gambling on small towns. We are as tired as you are of all this. But one thing we know for sure: archaic gimmicks that yield pennies to the village on the backs of enormous gambling losses by our neighbors and guests is no way to run things.
Come November 6, whatever the result, I know we can come together to envision the Forest Park of the future, one of vibrant, family-friendly venues and public spaces. In the meantime…let’s vote!
Forest Park resident