Southside Voters Express Strong Opinions on Casino and Abortion Rights

VPM News interviewed several voters in Richmond’s Southside before 7 a.m., where they found that the majority supported the casino proposal. Walter Cobb, a Southside resident, believes that the casino would greatly benefit the community by providing much-needed jobs. He stated, “It’s a plus in my opinion,” and expressed his hope that the casino proposal would pass this year.

Many other voters who supported the casino in 2021 also planned to vote for it again, citing the potential for more jobs, increased city revenue, and the development’s additional features beyond just gambling. In contrast, 68% of voters in the West End opposed the proposal.

Christine Gibson, another Southside resident, expressed her excitement about the prospect of more restaurants and additional green space that the casino development could bring to the community. However, some voters had reservations. Carl Howard opposed the casino, stating, “I don’t think that casinos are good for anybody. You work hard for your money, and what do you do? You give it to them?”

A few individuals were undecided, such as Anna Miller, a Bellemeade resident, who ultimately voted for the casino proposal after having conversations with supportive neighbors. She also emphasized her intention to vote for Democratic candidates to preserve abortion rights policies.

Indeed, abortion was a significant issue for many voters. Courtney Woods, an OB/GYN student, highlighted the importance of Virginia’s abortion laws for maternal and family health. Others expressed concern about national issues such as immigration, and local issues such as gun control.

Teri Washington, a Southside resident, urged local officials to take more action to address gun violence among young people in the community. Many voters voiced a desire for change and hope for the future as they cast their ballots.