Greg Sarris, 61, Graton Rancheria Tribal Chief on 11/3/2013 at meeting of North Bay Organizing Project in Santa Rosa said:
“… last night the tribe opened its casino. That casino is currently employing 2,500 people all of whom have medical, dental and retirement and wage above the minimum…and I love walking around and seeing all the brown faces and hearing all the Spanish in that building. We’re also—you hear a lot about the casino—but we also have 250 acres aside from it. We are planting those 250 acres in organic vegetables and with us we are going to hire low risk prisoners and undocumented workers. All of that with a living wage with medical, dental, and retirement.”
And he also said:
“So we want to make a difference. And it’s not just in the environment and in jobs but in social justice. We know that there are public officials here today and that you better listen. You better start coming over to our side of town over there listening to what we have to say because now I’ve got what you’ve always had…it's called money. Listen carefully each of you. Until you come out and talk to us and listen to us and answer to what happened, I will take my money and run a spotted chihuahua and try to win. And I mean it.”
This month the 1,300-member Graton Rancheria tribe will open its Graton Resort & Casino, an $800 million development with 3,000 slot machines and 144 gambling tables spread out over 340,000 square feet is expected to generate revenue of more than $530 million a year by 2016. Just beyond the parking lot is 250 acres of undeveloped land. It is currently being discussed as the site for vegetable farming but the tribe has also said it eventually plans to add a hotel.
Here is the audio file with the introduction of Sarris beginning after approximately three minutes.
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