Kathy Terrigino.

MS. TERRIGINO: Terrigino, yes, ma'am.

CHAIRMAN JAMES: Thank you, Kathy.

MS. TERRIGINO: Madame Chairperson, Commissioners, union brothers and sisters, friends and neighbors, good evening.

My name is Kathy Terrigino, and I got my first whiff of the Atlantic Ocean sitting in the back seat of my father's '49 Ford. I've been hooked ever since.

Of course in the 1950s, there were only two places on earth: Philadelphia and the Jersey shore. I still want to be on the beach on the 4th of July and Broad Street for the Mummers Day parade on New Year's Day.

Our fathers worked hard 50 weeks a year in factories so that we could spend two weeks here in July. We couldn't sleep the night before we left to come here, and we stood on the beach and cried when we had to go home.

As we grew up we saw Atlantic City become old and vacant. We mourned its decline. We had such fond memories of better times.

Now our city is rising like phoenix from its own ashes, and it is solely because of the gaming industry. It saved Atlantic City from certain death, and it gave my family the chance to live a dream come true.

If you'd like a comparison, go look at Asbury Park. With Local 54 representation, we have a contract insuring us fair pay for our hard work and good health benefits for our children. We applaud their hard work on our behalves and pledge our support in the future.

We look forward to seeing some members go from the back halls to city hall. My husband coined that phrase.

When Mr. Bidwell asked what my affiliation was, I said, "I live here." I am, however, a member of Holy Spirit parish, the PTA of Our Ladies Star of the Seas School, the Parents Advisory Council at the high school, the Political Action Committee of Local 54, and the First Ward Advisory Council in the inlet.

Yes, we live in the inlet, and it is the best kept secret in the city. We have a great neighborhood that is getting better all the time. We live on the beach block with the ocean and Boardwalk only steps away.

I wish that you would come in the summer so that you could experience the real magic here. Our children love it, and we love it.

Anyway, do we have some problems? Absolutely. Can we solve them? Positively.

So while we appreciate your interest in our progress, we really don't need any federal intervention, and we certainly don't need any new taxes.

In closing, if you feel you must do something for us, just say a little prayer remembering that prayer doesn't change things, but it changes people, and people change things.

Thank you.


CHAIRMAN JAMES: We have lots of people who want to speak tonight, and I really ask your indulgence because think about that. She got applause and somebody else didn't, and they're all excellent, and we want to hear from everybody, and that really eats into our time. So I'm going to please ask you not to do that.

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