Written by EGN
The anti-casino group known as Protect Elk Grove held a meeting last week in hopes of organizing grassroots opposition to the proposed casino in Elk Grove.
The group, which operates a website under the same name, made its presence known shortly after the recent announcement by the Wilton Rancheria of their intentions to develop a $400-million casino-resort on a portion of the parcel currently occupied by the unfinished Outlet Collection at Elk Grove. In addition to the website, the group also sent out a full-color glossy mailer urging Elk Grove residents to voice the opposition to the project at a recent Elk Grove City Council meeting.
The meeting, which was held last Thursday night at the Round Table Pizza on Elk Grove Boulevard in Elk Grove, was intended to help organize local activities to oppose the proposed casino. Among the suggested activities were letters to elected officials and the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs, gathering signatures for advisory petitions, and request meetings with representatives.
Conducting the lightly attended meeting was Joe Teixeira, who said he was opposed to the casino for a variety of societal and economic reasons.
"We are opposed for the reasons you can expect," Teixeira said. “It is quality of life issues."
When asked who was funding Protect Elk Grove, Teixeira said he did not know. Teixeira added that he believed the backers had Democratic Party leanings and said he was contacted by Orange County, Calif.-based public relations specialist George Urch.
Reached by phone, Urch said Teixeira was in charge of local efforts to oppose the casino. Urch declined to identify who was financially backing the opposition group.
"It's people in the [Sacramento] business community," Urch said.
Among those attending the Thursday meeting were Joshua Woods of the advocacy group Region Business and Raymond Hitchcock, Chairman of the Wilton Rancheria. Region Business has come out in support of the proposed project noting that the casino would create about 2,000 jobs while Hitchcock said he attended the meeting to provide further information about the proposed resort.
"The most trans-formative economic growth project in the region is being opposed by a secretly funded Southern California consultant armed with misinformation," Woods said. "His efforts to organize local opposition to the Casino and Resort project failed as they had more pizzas than people at their meeting...since they only had three people."
“I’ve been spending a lot of time reaching out to the community and wanted to show up to answer questions, educate them on misconceptions, explain the project and, hopefully, convince them to see the benefits we’re going to bring to Elk Grove,” Hitchcock said.
Coincidental to the establishment of the anti-casino group Protect Elk Grove, a Twitter account (registration required) using the same name was recently created on that social media platform. That account, which has come out in opposition to Elk Grove City Councilman Steve Detrick's reelection bid has also taken aim at the casino through Detrick.
Below is a tweet posted last week regarding the proposed casino and suggesting Detrick supports the project. Public relations specialist Urch said he was not aware of any affiliation between the website-movement Protect Elk Grove and the Twitter account of the same name.