California Governor Calls On Tribal Leaders to Follow His Orders on Their Own Land
CA's Democrat governor requests Native American leaders comply with his lockdown
California's Democrat governor, Gavin Newsom, has called on Native American tribal leaders to comply with his lockdown orders on their own land.
Gov. Newsom wrote a letter to leaders in the San Diego County area who are planning to reopen tribal casinos.
The governor, who has no jurisdiction on tribal land, is asking Native American leadership to instead comply with his order and wait until stage three of his reopening plan.
Newsom reportedly recognizes that the casinos do not fall under his jurisdiction, but in the letter, he emphasizes that the coronavirus pandemic “remains a serious threat for all Californians.”
“I understand that some tribal governments are planning on reopening casinos on their lands,” Newsom said in the letter.
“This deeply concerns me, and I urge tribal governments to reconsider and instead make those determinations based on how they align with the current local public health conditions and the statewide stage of reopening.”
“I am not asking that tribal governments receive authorization from the state or local governments prior to moving forward with reopening or suggesting that tribal casinos remain closed indefinitely,” the governor said, according to a copy of the letter obtained by the Los Angeles Times.
Gov. Newsom goes on to ask the tribal leaders that “in the spirit of sovereign-to-sovereign engagement,” they wait until areas next to their land reach stage three of his reopening plan.
Newsom recently teased phase three may be as little as one month away, and San Diego has just started to reopen under the phase two guidelines.
Despite the California governor’s guidelines, the Times reports that three San Diego area casinos have told customers that they plan to reopen over the next week with a focus on safety.
Sycuan Casino Resort, for example, will stagger available slot machines and limit card tables to three players, and the Viejas Casino & Resort said it will enforce physical distancing and conduct temperature checks before entry.
Outside of California, some casinos have been preparing for experimental gambling practices that go even further, such as putting up shield guards at poker tables.
NEW: Casino in Hialeah, Florida tests their updated poker tables. pic.twitter.com/VEQ6XuJZAO— Andy Slater (@AndySlater) May 14, 2020
Yet, inside San Diego County, other businesses that have been asked to wait until stage three have also grown impatient.
Lou Uridel, a gym owner in San Diego, reopened his business on Thursday, less than a week after he was arrested for defying the county’s public health order and opening up the gym to guests, according to The San Jose Mercury News.
“We lost a third of our membership that took us a year and a half to get,” Uridel told the news agency, explaining that he had no choice but to reopen.
“If we waited, with the bills mounting, we weren’t going to be able to recover.”
Bonnie Stauffer, a spokesperson for the Oceanside Police Department in San Diego County, told the news agency that Uridel will continue to receive daily citations, which amount to $1,000 or 90 days in jail per violation.
“I don’t know what other enforcement can be done at this point,” said the spokesperson.
Stauffer added that the department was working with the district attorney’s office to explore other options.