Tremendous progress is being made! In New York, there have been significant legal decisions made by the Supreme Court in favor of non-Indian citizens. Communities all over the state and country are researching and challenging BIA “assumptions” and determinations.
Locally, the lawsuit that P.O.L.O. and POSY have filed on the 6.9 acres has stopped the expansion of the reservation, stopped expansion of gambling on that property, and has kept the property on the tax rolls so that the remaining community does not have to subsidize the tax loss. The lawsuit is still in progress, and while it is ongoing there can be no additional gambling added on that property. There are many more cases that are being ruled in favor of non-Indian citizens and the national landscape is changing dramatically as more communities are unable to defend themselves against aggressive and unnecessary expansion by gambling tribes due to flawed and corrupt federal Indian policy.
Although the local press, especially the Santa Barbara News Press, is so influenced by Casino advertising dollars that it refuses to report what is going on, other papers across the Country are reporting the facts. The new owner of the Santa Ynez Valley Journal is actively covering tribal issues. There are many, many national papers that are consistently and fairly covering this issue. Unfortunately, many of the local papers are unwilling to accurately and fairly report the negative impacts this casino is having on our County. We say, let the people decide! A newspaper’s job is to report, not to censor.
Some radio stations are now covering the topic. Our P.O.L.O./POSY spokeswoman and other citizens have been on numerous radio shows across the country discussing tribal issues.
“Historical guilt” has been used as a hammer to intimidate people from speaking out against tribal gambling and land expansion. As more and more people get educated, they realize that this issue has nothing to do with “Indians” and everything to do with the loss of their constitutional rights and equal protection of the law.