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The impact of a Casino in Kenosha on Milwaukee jobs has been well-documented. The city and county estimate the loss of 3000 jobs. But the impact on minorities could be devastating. The Potawatomi Casino, one of the largest employers of minorities in Milwaukee, is only 25 miles from the proposed site. Minorities and women make up 53% of Potawatomi employees. A Kenosha Casino would undoubtedly take business, and in turn jobs, away from the Milwaukee-based casino.

The Milwaukee Urban League believes that the Bureau of Indian Affairs did not take that impact into consideration:

Unfortunately, it appears the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has not taken into consideration any impacts this gaming project will have on minority communities in Milwaukee as part of its environmental justice review. In fact, the FEIS does not even include Milwaukee in any analysis of disproportionately high and adverse effects on minority and low-income populations.

They emphasized the importance of the Potawatomis outside of just providing jobs:

Potawatomi Community (FCPC) annually provides millions of dollars of revenue sharing to the city and county of Milwaukee which help fund crucial programs that benefit Milwaukee’s minority communities. Coupled with the additional millions of dollars in charitable funds the FCPC provides, the overall positive impact the FCPC have on Milwaukee-area minorities is immeasurable.

The Menomonee Tribe proposing to build the casino has prioritized hiring Kenosha and Racine County residents before considering Milwaukee County residents. In the summer of 2012, the Hispanic Chamber and the Milwaukee Urban League expressed their concerns to the BIA:

We are gravely concerned that the proposed off-reservation casino in Kenosha, Wisconsin will have a negative impact on minorities in Milwaukee. The staggering number of jobs lost and the anticipated loss in revenue used for crucial programs will undoubtedly hurt.

We ask that the BIA evaluate and examine the environmental justice impacts this project will have on Milwaukee and its’ minority communities.

Milwaukee has the largest minority population in Wisconsin. The last census estimated that 58% of residents in Milwaukee are minority, a large number of which are employed in the hospitality and tourism industry.

Despite the impact on Milwaukee minorities, the project was approved by the BIA and is now awaiting a decision by Governor Walker.


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