Queens Senator Questions Citi Field Casino’s Lobbying Tactics

  • Queens Councilman Francisco Moya endorsed the Citi Field plan last night
  • Senator Ramos questioned the timing of the councilman’s announcement
  • The Citi Field project needs the senator’s support to rezone the land
Citi Field
Queens Senator Jessica Ramos has questioned the tactics of the groups that are pushing for a casino next to Citi Field. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Queens Senator Jennifer Ramos will play a vital role in deciding if New York Mets owner Steve Cohen’s proposed casino beside Citi Field will be able to proceed or not. In a text message to the New York Post on Thursday, she questioned some of the ways in which the project has tried to drum up support and curry local favor.

The third and final community town hall meeting regarding the project took place last night and shortly before it began, Queens Councilman Francisco Moya gave a ringing endorsement to the $8bn casino complex plan. He labeled it as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to boost the area’s economic fortunes.

not the open and transparent moves that I would expect”

Senator Ramos questioned the timing of this statement from the councilman, pointing out that the groups behind the proposal paid canvassers to attend the initial town hall meeting. Talking about these tactics, Ramos said that they are “not the open and transparent moves that I would expect from someone claiming to value real, honest community engagement.”

Only three lucrative downstate New York casino licenses are up for grabs and the competition is fierce. Each project needs to get the relevant zoning permissions to allow for the construction of a casino. Senator Ramos has to support the redesignation of an area of parkland for commercial use for the Citi Field proposal to proceed. The final decision on which proposal gets the green light will not happen until late next year.

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