Today is Martin Luther King day, a day that our soon-to-be-inaugurated President-Elect has asked us to observe by performing a community service. We in Middleboro and Southeastern Massachusetts are currently buried under several inches of snow, with "flurries" expected for the remainder of the week.
I'd like to propose, as a fitting and worthy public service to our fellow residents, that we take Gladys Kravitz up on her suggestion and write to the office of the United States Secretary of the Interior, the office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the office of the United States Attorney General, and voice our concerns as citizens over two things:
1. The taint of corruption surrounding the land into trust application filed by the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, which should go to the secretary of the department of the interior, with a cc: to the Massachusetts Attorney General and the United States Attorney General, and
2. the taint of possible corruption surrounding the signing of the Intergovernmental Agreement between the Town of Middleboro and the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, and the need for a full investigation into the circumstances surrounding the negotiation, approval, and signing of the IGA. This letter should go to both the United States Attorney General and the Massachusetts Attorney General.
The addresses are on Gladys' blog, and I've shamelessly copied and pasted them below:
Secretary of the Department of the Interior
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.Washington DC 20240
Bureau of Indian Affairs
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20240
Office of the Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
In your letter to the United States Attorney General and to the Massachusetts Attorney General please ask the Attorneys General to investigate the circumstances surrounding the signing of the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between the Town of Middleboro and the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe. Check out any of the blogs and the local news websites for references or inspiration. New material is coming to light every day.
Regarding the application for land into trust, Gladys says it better than I could:
...write a letter to the Secretary of the Department of the Interior and the BIA telling them why the land in Middleboro shouldn't go into trust because of the corruption within the Tribe and its investors, and the sleazy way the agreement was pushed through.
You don't have to be a superlative writer or a legal expert for either letter. All you need to be is a concerned resident of Middleboro, or of one of the surrounding communities, and feel that your voice was not heard, or that you were not even given the chance to voice your concerns, that your rights were trampled by the very representatives whom you elected to represent you, or that your elected representatives were not even offered the courtesy of an invitation to discussion. Please discuss what you feel was wrong with the process by which the resort-bingo-hall was presented to the public, discussed (or NOT) by your elected officials, and then signed off on (or NOT) by them, from your perspective as a resident and voter. Please discuss what you feel is wrong with the land-into-trust application, based on recent revelations and recent revisions to the IGRA guidelines. Again, the blogs on this topic provide much information.
Please do send actual, physical letters, since e-mails will likely not reach the intended recipient. Snail mail has a far better chance of being received, noted, and possibly acted upon.
Thanks in advance to everyone who chooses to observe Martin Luther King day with this public service.
I'm working on my letters now, and will have them done today.