As the wheel spins on the selection process for a Capital Region casino site, the question of which communities do -- or don't -- support a casino will be a key part of the discussion because the state's selection criteria require a local resolution of support for such a project.
Already, both Rensselaer and Rensselaer County have passed resolutions in favor of a casino. And the Saratoga Springs council passed a resolution opposing (for now) a casino in the city. [TWCN] [Daily Gazette]
Now the Albany Common Council is considering a resolution in support of the E23 casino proposal for the southern edge of the city. And Albany is an interesting case because its voters pretty much split right down the middle on the state amendment to allow full casinos last fall, narrowly opposing it 51-49.
But so far, city officials have appeared to be at least generally open to considering support for the casino project. And as mayor Kathy Sheehan said after the developers backing the project made their first pitch:
"In the city of Albany it was narrowly defeated, but in many of our wards that have some of the most significant challenges economically, it passed overwhelmingly. So we need to listen to our residents. That's why we heard today that this is a process. We need to engage the public and have the public be heard."
So, this is all a long way of saying: We thought it'd be interesting to see how the vote on the state casino amendment last fall shaped up in the city of Albany by ward. We pulled the numbers, and they're after the jump as a map and table with a few notes.
The deeper the shade of green, the higher the percentage of people who voted for the casino amendment.
A few things
+ There are about 97,000 people (of all ages) who live in the city of Albany. About 15,000 people voted on the casino amendment, so it's not like this vote necessarily indicates the preferences of everyone in the city.
+ Another thing to consider: "Are you in favor of allowing casinos upstate?" -- which is pretty much what the amendment question asked -- is a different question from "Are you in favor of a casino in your city?" So, again, something to keep in mind.
+ As Sheehan pointed out, there are some wards that had very strong support for the amendment -- five of them registering 60 percent or more as "yes" votes. The highest support was in the 5th ward, which includes much of the West Hill neighborhood, at 71 percent support.
+ The geographic middle of the city registered the least support, led by the 6th ward -- which covers parts of Center Square, Hudson/Park, and Washington Park -- at just 40 percent support.
+ E23 would be located in the 1st ward, where 61 percent of voters supported the casino amendment.
There's a public forum with the developer backing E23 on April 16 at 6:30 pm at Giffen Elementary in Albany.
+ E23: The proposal for an Albany casino
+ Focusing on support for a possible Capital Region casino, town by town
+ Capital Region casino site odds (much has changed)
+ How New York's deck of counties split on the casino vote
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