Board to Monitor South Philly Casino’s Lofty Diversity Promises

Councilman Kenyatta Johnson and 15 others will be watching closely.

The most recent artist's rendering of the Live! Casino at Packer Ave. and Darien Streets in South Philadelphia. (Photo courtesy of Stadium Casino LLC)

The most recent artist’s rendering of the Live! Casino at Packer Ave. and Darien Streets in South Philadelphia. (Photo courtesy of Stadium Casino LLC)

Last week, Stadium Casino announced ambitious diversity goals for its soon-to-be-built casino in the South Philadelphia. It promised that 50 percent of the post-construction workforce will be minorities and 40 percent will be women. It promised that 47 percent to 58 percent of construction contracts will be awarded to companies deemed Minority Business Enterprises or Women Business Enterprises. It promised no dress code in any part of the facility — following a lawsuit claiming that Cordish Co. (one of the casino owners) used restrictive dress codes and other methods to limit black visitors at a facility in Kentucky.

It also promised a $12 minimum wage and said table-game operators can expect to make $70,000 per year including tips.

Now a diversity board of Philadelphians vows to make sure the company sees those plans through.

Led by Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, the Diversity Oversight Board consists of 16 members. Stadium Casino’s diversity plan was negotiated by Johnson and the Philadelphia Office of Economic Opportunity.

“The proposed hotel and casino is a $450 million project that has the potential to create thousands of jobs. We must ensure that these are quality jobs and that the entire workforce, including the management and executive team, represents Philadelphia’s diverse population,” said Johnson in a statement.

The board is comprised of these 16 members:

  • Rodney Muhammad, President, Philadelphia NAACP
  • Rev. Terrence Griffith, President, Black Clergy of Philadelphia
  • Bob Ambrose, Instructor, Hospitality and Tourism, Drexel University
  • Steven Bradley, Chairman, African-American Chamber of Commerce of PA NJ and DE
  • Samuel Staten, Jr., Business Manager, Laborers’ International Union-Local 332
  • Della Clark, President, The Enterprise Center
  • Maribel Valdez, Member, Philadelphia Dominican Grocers’ Association
  • Jeffery Smith, President, Global Synergies
  • Mark Edwards, President and CEO, Philadelphia Works, Inc.
  • Myra Brown, JEVS
  • Mary A. Faustino, Business Services Manager, Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia
  • Christopher Sample, Chief of Staff, Office of Councilman Kenyatta Johnson
  • Gail Anderson, HR Manager, Philadelphia Job Corps
  • Angela Dowd-Burton, Executive Director, Philadelphia Office of Economic Opportunity
  • Zed Smith, COO, The Cordish Companies
  • Ron Davis, Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Parx Casino.