Posted by : Halima Khait Thursday, October 18, 2012

Earlier this week, I was on Twitter (@MidnyteBloom) railing against Question 7 on Prince George's County's upcoming Presidential Election Ballot.  This question is asking residents to vote on MGM Casino having a location in the National Harbor.  Supporters of Question 7 have everybody from long-term county residents, to teachers to local politicians on TV saying how this casino would keep money in the state and how it would go towards improving the PG County school system.

Excuse me for not getting excited over this. 

Apparently these so-called, long-term resident's have no long-term memories because as someone who has lived in PG County my entire life, I know I've heard this all before.  Most recently, when we were asked to vote the construction of the National Harbor. 

Much like this new casino's deal offering to further education and bring 120,000 new jobs to the county, the Harbor's deal was that it'd further education and 30 percent of its construction would be contracted to local,  minority businesses.  In '08 it was revealed that only 4 percent of these contractors found work there. (Washington Post: Minority Contractors Speak Out, 8 May 2008). 

And, as of this year we discovered our county taxes are still the highest in the area, but our school system is still reprehensible. (Please visit my post, Open Letter to Elected PG County Officials for information on our tax situation and Follow-Up: Open Letter to Elected PG County Officials for information on where our school system is ranked). 

So, I meant it when I decried Governor O'Malley for broadcasting that Maryland has some of the best school systems in the country and saying voting for Question 7 will ensure this status.  It's not relevant.  The only reason our state made the list is because of Montgomery County.  Stop misleading and using the people of Prince George's County.  If this casino is to maintain our state's level of education, then please, go convince the people of Montgomery County of this and put the casino there.  But if this issue is really about improving our school system, it's in the numbers, we have more than enough resources to do that without this casino.

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