Point Molate Casino in Richmond Advisory Vote, Measure U (November 2010)

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A Point Molate Casino in Richmond Advisory Vote, Measure U was on the November 2, 2010 ballot for voters in the City of Richmond in Contra Costa County.[1] It was defeated.

The question facing voters was what they thought of the idea of building a 4,000-slot Indian casino at Point Molate.

The casino would be built by Upstream Point Molate, LLC, which also has plans for a $1.2 billion resort at Point Molate. The casino, if built, would be operated in partnership with the Guidiville Band of Pomo Indians. The development would include about 1,100 hotel rooms, a conference center, restaurants, shops, tribal headquarters, and a shoreline trail near the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.[2]

Richmond City Council member Tom Butt wrote the resolution to place the advisory vote on the November ballot. Council members Nat Bates, Jeff Ritterman, Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, and Butt then voted in favor of the resolution. Council members Maria Viramontes and Jim Rogers voted against the resolution, apparently at least in part because the resolution did not mention protection for open space.

The developers of the potential casino opposed putting the advisory question on the ballot. Jim Levine, a leader with the development, said, "We understand that opponents of the project believe they have a better chance of scoring political points by contesting the project without the facts. Why else would they push for a project vote just ahead of the release of the EIR and prior to the conclusion of the public outreach process?"[3]

Election results

Measure U
Defeatedd No13,99158.30%
Yes 10,007 41.70%
These final, certified results are from the Contra Costa County elections office.

Text of measure

The question on the ballot:

Shall the City of Richmond approve a project including a casino at Pt. Molate provided that this advisory measure is considered in a manner consistent with all the City’s legal obligations?[4]


See also: 2010 ballot measure litigation

Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Barry Baskin was asked by casino supporters to alter or remove ballot arguments opposing the casino project that were submitted for the official voter guide. However, Judge Baskin declined to do so, saying that the arguments were not false or misleading.

Parts of the argument that casino supporters particularly objected to were the statements of opponents that there was no guarantee that locals would be hired to work at the casino and that the jobs, to the extent that they materialize for local workers, could be described as low wage jobs.[5]

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