Looting Hawaiian Gardens
Press Conference Statement by Sharon Raphael
by Sharon Raphael, Ph.D. , Professor of Sociology California State University, Dominguez Hills
Originally published 10 July 2000
in general release

As a sociologist, concerned citizen and neighbor to the City of Hawaiian Gardens, I think it is deplorable and unconscionable that a person with Moskowitz's credentials and standing in the community would take advantage of his ability to hire high powered attorneys and "pull one over" on a tiny low-income city and then take credit for being a great benefactor in the process. A city should not be dependent on a gambling house for its main source of income and the report (Joint Legislative Audit Committee Staff Report) underscores the dangers inherent in such an arrangements including higher incidents of crime and social problems which was reported and commented upon by former Atty. Gen. Lungren and colleagues and included in the report. (Related to discussion on Bell Gardens Casino).

The biggest concern here and the affect of Moskowitz and his enterprises has been how it has impacted the democratic political process in the City. My question is who really runs the City of Hawaiian Gardens, the people or Moskowitz and his legal representative? I think the people have been outmaneuvered and legally boxed in by Irving Moskowitz. By promising a supermarket that the City badly needed, other legitimate business were forced out of the City including Ploughboys, a well-known and thriving produce market and also a meat market and other legitimate businesses that served the city's residents in a positive way. What did the people get instead, a bingo parlor, a casino, and a big parking lot and unfilled hopes and dreams.

I think the people can do much better and will once they wake up and realize the whole sad history of what has gone down and what is continuing in a city that still has hopes and dreams of doing better. We implore Atty. Gen. Lockyer to deny Moskowitz his casino license and to take the work of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee Staff Report seriously. Give Hawaiian Gardens a chance to begin again.


Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak | Rabbis Steven Jacobs and Jerry Goldstein | Walter McKinney | Mina K. Meyer | Sharon Raphael

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