The Morning Press Conference
The day started off with a Press Conference from United to Stop Slots in Massachusetts. The Speakers: Senator Tucker; Representative Sciortino; StopPredatoryGambling’s Les Bernal; BMG’s Bmass, Bob Massie; Palmer’s Steve Sears to talk about local costs; with Senator Tucker and a few poignant comments Senator O’Leary at the end to wrap things up. Whew.
Sen. Tucker introduces Steve Sears, who comes in at about 1:05 on the video.
The Press Conference Wrap-Up
Testimonies by gambling addicts and those impacted by them
I think it’s important to hear from people who’s lives have been impacted by gambling addiction, be they addicts or family. Some videos from addicts or those close to them.
One last person speaks about their experience dealing with her father, who grew an addiction to gambling, and several legislative leaders weigh in on the stories from the previous three speakers.
Kathleen Scanlan, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling. Her organization is officially neutral on whether or not there should be gambling (and what kinds of gambling there should be).
State Elected Leaders Giving Testimony
Here are a few of the state reps who showed up to offer testimony. I didn’t tape them all, but here’s some of the ones I did.
Rep Sciortino and Provost
People and Organizations Opposed to Slot Machines
President of United to Stop Slot’s Kathleen Norbut, who offers a rousing testimony.
Les Bernal of StopPredatoryGambling.org
The Bernal Panel’s Q&A period, featuring poignant commentary by Tom Larkin, licensed psychologist and writer on union issues, that a vote for a slot bill is a vote by an elected leader to promote addiction in Massachusetts.
I will probably never agree with MFI’s Evelyn Reilly again, but here she presents a compelling, cogent argument against slot machines in Massachusetts — focusing on the wide net of people who would be negatively impacted.
Laura Everett, Assoc. Director of the Mass Council of Churches.
Kelly Marcimo, Board Member of the Massachusetts League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan organization with town and city chapters all across Massachusetts.
A CasinoFreeMass volunteer who found her inner-activist from this issue.
Last, but most certainly not least, I didn’t tape Gladys Kravitz’s testimony, but I did get her for some questions back in the summer, at the State Convention. Check it out.
Pluck the videos you like best and spread them forth! Thanks for everyone’s time on this issue these past few days; the more people understand about this issue, the better.
One last note: My deepest apologies go out to Steven Sears out in Palmer because I can’t, for the life of me, find my video of him giving testimony. The reason I’m so disappointed in this is because it offered some of the best back-and-forth between someone offering testimony and questions from the politicians of the entire day. All I can say is that he brought with him some of the facts from a nonpartisan commission he was a part of in Palmer, coming up with the expenses to Palmer that would incur because of the casino, that actually shocked some of the elected officials on the committee. I’ll try more to find the video later, but I’ve spent an hour+ on it already, so I just think it’s gone. :.(