Protect Flushing, No Casino!

Steve Cohen, billionaire hedge fund manager and owner of the NY Mets, wants to build a casino next to Citi Field as part of a massive private development on city-owned parkland. Cohen has invested millions of dollars in campaign contributions and lobbying City and State officials. He’s hired pricey  consultants to promote a racist project that targets the nearby Asian community in Flushing and takes away 50 acres of our public parkland. 

Gambling is a real problem for many in Flushing that construction of a nearby casino will only make worse. The harmful impacts of gambling on communities are well-documented and devastating, leading to financial ruin and debt, and breaking up families. A casino would only further siphon more resources out of our community. Despite this, Cohen is seeking a casino license that would exploit our vulnerable working families, target Asians and endanger the health and safety of Queens.

Cohen’s proposed casino is part of a massive, city and state-promoted redevelopment project on 140 acres of land stretching across Flushing, Willets Point and the Citi Field parking lots that would exacerbate the displacement crisis in Flushing and across Queens. For more than a decade, one huge luxury development after another has been built, driving up rents and real estate taxes. Many Flushing residents and small businesses can only afford to stay here if they double up, splitting already crowded spaces, while those who own their property are squeezed by rising taxes. 

Taking away 50 acres of public parkland in the middle of multiple communities of color is environmental racism and sets a precedent that will hurt all communities. Our communities need public parkland, especially in the context of a 140-acre mega development. Instead of lobbying the State government to privatize precious parkland so that he can profit, Cohen could use his wealth to improve the park, turning it into a green public space that reduces flood risk. Our Queens communities deserve no less. 

In response to the rampant, unregulated development of the area, displacement of our community, destruction of our livelihoods, complete disregard for our public space and unwillingness to restore nature-based flood protections, our community proposes a Special District plan. The Flushing Community Special District plan will protect and enhance our existing homes, jobs, small businesses, manufacturing zones, waterfront, and public spaces. 

To protect our Queens communities, we must unite to send a resounding message: Do NOT build a casino in Queens! Do NOT privatize our parkland! SUPPORT the Flushing Community plan!

We call on our local elected officials and city and state representatives to take action today to protect our Queens communities. Governor Hochul and Mayor Adams, we demand: 

  1. Say NO to a casino on Flushing Meadows-Corona Park! Queens doesn’t need another casino. Do NOT grant Cohen a casino license.

  2. Say NO to privatizing parkland! Our public parkland should remain public. Do NOT pass State or City legislation that allows for parkland alienation. 

  3. PASS the Flushing Community Special District plan to protect Flushing from high rents and property taxes, luxury development, and displacement. 

- FED UP Coalition
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