Seneca Mothers gift protest song to NYS
Mothers of the Seneca Nation gave New York State a Mother's Day present: a protest song encapsulating what they called "the Nation's contentious relationship with the state."
The title of the song is “New York State: No More for You.” The lyrics touch on what the Mothers called "the protracted and circuitous path of the Nation-state gaming conflict that culminated in the release of payments, only after Seneca Nation bank accounts were frozen by Gov. Kathy Hochul, placing the Nation in a state of economic paralysis."
The Mothers sing, "New York State you can’t extort us anymore. Your courts, your laws deny our rights. But we still fight, we still fight."
The Mothers have been opposed to the Nation’s release of payments to the state. Marie Williams, a Cattaraugus resident and former Seneca Gaming Authority executive director, is one of two Mothers who filed lawsuits challenging the settlement agreement announced in January.
Williams’ lawsuit centers on the more than $50 million in regulatory fees that were rolled into the settlement agreement, fees that were denied by five consecutive Seneca administrations. The Mothers also maintain the Nation will have paid more than $2 billion to the state by the end of the compact in 2023 without getting the gaming exclusivity promised.
“In 2002, we signed a compact that promised exclusivity, while we agreed to give the state 25% of the ‘net slot drop,’ but in return we got nothing. The exclusivity has been nothing but a fraud,” Williams said. “So when the Mothers sing, ‘no more for you,’ that means we’re done paying. The days of the Seneca forking over money for nothing are over as far as the Mothers are concerned.”