This story is important and I know that New Jersey Communities United members and supporters would stand with Helen & Travis and their effort to ensure Atlantic City casinos “Do More" than "Do AC"! Please read their petition below and support Atlantic City's residents & workers!
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Hurricane Sandy devastated millions of families along the East Coast, but in no city is the line between the devastated and the unscathed as pronounced as it is in our hometown of Atlantic City. Our homes remain uninhabitable as we continue to wait for heat, hot water and some semblance of normalcy. As we struggle to rebuild, casinos like Revel are open for business, offering out-of-towners a place to relax and indulge. We ask that you acknowledge the severity of the damage in your own backyard and provide desperately needed help to the residents of Atlantic City by contributing to the recovery efforts.
For better or for worse, Atlantic City is our home. We are part of the generation born immediately after the casinos first opened their doors for business, so we have never known our city without the gaming industry dominating the skyline. And now, we’ve never seen our city in such ruins. These are additional hardships on a town that was already suffering: 25% live well below the poverty line, and thousands more are just barely above that mark, in the ranks of the working poor. Our unemployment rate is over 12%. Meanwhile, in one night Kevin DeSanctis, Revel’s CEO, makes ten times more money than what most local families make annually.
Revel has a moral and financial obligation to the city that sacrificed its resources, public spaces and quality of life so that it could open its doors to the public. Atlantic City physically restructured its neighborhoods to accommodate the casino’s construction. Eminent domain pushed long-time residents out of their homes so the street leading up to the entrance could be widened. Revel’s grand opening was ultimately made possible by a $261 million tax-rebate package by Governor Chris Christie. And finally, when Hurricane Sandy hit, an additional $18 million investment by taxpayers in a beach replenishment program protected the property against damage.
Now is the time for Revel to step up, go beyond contributions to the Red Cross and privately controlled relief funds, and connect residents with direct services and resources.
We are calling on Revel to set up a station for hot meals, showers, community space for area youth, and work with Atlantic City residents—many of them Revel employees—to ensure a full restoration of the local neighborhood that flooded during Hurricane Sandy. While an ad campaign is being launched to counter the images of the destruction in your backyard, telling people to “Do AC,” we are asking you to “Do More.”
Helen & Travis
New Jersey Communities United
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