Vote now for Best of Detroit 2021

Video vs. casinos 

Residents of Detroit's Rivertown community are using a documentary to help convince city officials that their plan to locate three casinos on the city's east side is a mistake.

"We want people to appreciate what a terrible idea it is to put casinos on the riverfront," says Carol Wiseman, writer and director of the 52-minute video.

"It's a terrible idea to demolish 200 housing units in a city with a housing shortage, to force 55 businesses to relocate in a city trying to attract businesses, to put casinos in a neighborhood near 5,000 school-aged children," argues Wiseman, who is helping spearhead a movement to ensure the public's voice is heard in the casino decision-making process.

Wiseman's video, Reconsider Baby, was produced by the grassroots Riverfront East Alliance (REAL) to emphasize the historical significance of the old factories, quaint taverns and unique apartment buildings slated to be leveled under the current casino master plan.

About 50 people gathered at the Atwater Brewery on Nov. 5 for the first public showing of the video, which Wiseman hopes will "catch on" and inspire city residents to save the Rivertown neighborhood.

"City Council wants us to believe it's a done deal," says Wiseman of the council's 6-3 vote in April that sanctioned Mayor Dennis Archer's plans to locate three casinos along the Detroit River. "We will work very hard to put the casinos somewhere else," Wiseman says.

The video is starting to win supporters.

"When I moved to Rivertown I was neutral on the subject," says Jason Waitt, a new resident in the community. "Now I'm starting to change my mind."

"It brought out issues about the general history of the place," adds Wayne State student Bob Trajkouski. "I didn't know a lot of these places would be wiped out."

Evelyn Johnston of the Waterfront Reclamation and Casino Development Citizens District Council says that she's becoming increasingly frustrated by a process that is failing to seek real input from the 21-member council, which has raised concerns about such issues as traffic and feasibility.

"We're given information by the city," says Johnston. "But when we refute anything we're told, 'You can not like it all you want. It's already decided anyway.'"

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Most Popular

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 20, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation