The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Gila River Indian Community, the Hualapai Tribe, the Cocopah Tribe, and the Pueblo of Zuni applaud Congressman Trent Franks, Ann Kirkpatrick and other Members of Congress for the introduction of the Keep the Promise Act of 2013. It is anticipated that through the passage of this Bill, the commitments made to Arizona residents who voted "yes' on Prop 202--the Indian Gaming Preservation and Self-Reliance Act of 2002--will be kept. Furthermore, the Keep the Promise Act is a testament to the good work put forth by sixteen of the seventeen Arizona tribes who were honest and open during more than two years of compact negotiations that shaped Prop 202.
"If the Proposition 202 promise is broken we fear that the compact will not last"
The Keep the Promise Act has already received support from many Arizona tribes because it assures that the terms of the current compacts are kept intact. Sixteen of the 17 Arizona tribes were united by the "balanced' vision for Indian Gaming in Arizona that was at the heart of Prop 202; a vision shared among their communities, state officials and elected leaders. In anticipation of the Congressional action to ensure that the Prop 202 promises are kept--statements from a few of these tribes follow:
"As a tribal leader, a resident, and a voter in the state of Arizona I support this legislative effort to preserve and maintain the gaming policy made between the tribes and Arizona voters to limit the number of casinos in the Phoenix metropolitan area," said Hualapai Tribe Chairwoman Sherry Counts.
"If the Proposition 202 promise is broken we fear that the compact will not last," said Zuni Pueblo Governor Arlen Quetawki. "This legislation will preserve the integrity of Indian gaming in the State of Arizona and ensures that non-gaming tribes like the Zuni Pueblo will be able to receive gaming revenue under the current compact."
"The Cocopah Tribe was one of the tribes that supported Prop 202 and we still believe that what we fought for stands today," said Cocopah Tribe Chairwoman Sherry Cordova. "The Cocopah Tribe, a rural tribe, has benefited from the promises made to The State of Arizona and its people, and we continue to support the efforts being put forth today. We made a commitment and we must honor our commitment to, not only our fellow tribes, but to the people of Arizona."
"The Keep the Promise Act is fair, simple legislation ensuring that the core promises of Prop 202 remain intact: promises made to voters and to Arizona tribes," said Salt River Pima-Maricopa President Diane Enos.
"No new casinos in the Phoenix metropolitan area was a requirement made clear to all 17 tribes involved in the compact negotiations. It was a key commitment and without it there would never have been acceptance or the passage of Prop 202. Our community strongly believes that this promise must be kept," stated Gila River Indian Community Governor Gregory Mendoza.
The voter-approved Proposition 202 was rooted in three key elements:
Indian casinos would be kept out of neighborhoods;
Each tribe agreed to a specific casino allocation; some even gave up rights to additional casinos in order to limit the number within the state; and
As stated by then Governor Jane Dee Hull in the Prop 202 voter education pamphlet issued by the Arizona Secretary of State, "Voting ''yes'' on Proposition 202 ensures that no new casinos will be built in the Phoenix metropolitan area and only one in the Tucson area for at least 23 years."
These elements were highly publicized and reported as facts in news articles and in voter education materials archived at www.keepingthepromiseaz.com.
The Keep the Promise Act can be summarized in three short points: in 2002 voters in Arizona approved Prop 202; as part of gaining approval Indian tribes agreed to limit the number of casinos within the State and in particular within the Phoenix metropolitan area; the Act preserves the agreement made between the tribes and the Arizona voters.