Tribal Work by Greg Sarris
Greg Sarris is currently the Tribal Chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria. He is in his fourteenth elected term as Chairman of the Tribe and is currently leading the Tribe in its economic development endeavors with Station Casinos. Greg oversees all business negotiations and the daily operations of the Tribe. Greg spearheaded the effort to build a casino, the Graton Resort and Casino, which opened November 2013. A large portion of the profits from the casino will be given back to the community where it is located, Sonoma County and the City of Rohnert Park, for the preservation of public parks and open spaces, and for the establishment of low-cost organic farming for low income members of the community. Learn more about Greg Sarris and all that he has accomplished for his tribe and community.
The Tribe has agreed to aid the communities and mitigate potential impacts of the Graton Resort and Casino by entering into legally binding agreements with the following entities:
Fair Labor and Employment
In a pioneering effort by any Native American tribe, Greg Sarris is insisting that all employees at the casino will be paid a good living wage with benefits. This means that all employees at the casino will be earning at least the equivalent of union wages for all positions of employment. In addition, all employees will have recourse to the card check neutrality agreement which the Tribe has already entered into with HERE United.
The Project will provide an important stimulus to the struggling Sonoma County economy. The Project will produce:
- 900 immediate union construction jobs
- 2,200 permanent jobs
- 3,000 additional full and part-time jobs at surrounding businesses
- $275 million in annual economic benefits to the region
Sonoma, Lake, Mendocino County Building & Construction Trades Council
The Tribe and its general contractor, the Perini Building Company, Inc., entered into a project labor agreement with the Trades Council to ensure that the casino is being built by union labor.
Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union, AFL-CIO
The Tribe entered into a card-check neutrality agreement with Unite HERE! in August 2003, to ensure that future employees at the casino will have the right to unionize if they wish.
The City of Rohnert Park
The Tribe entered into an amended Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the City in March 2013 to provide the City with approximately $250 million over 20 years to mitigate project impacts.
The County of Sonoma County
The Tribe entered into an Intergovernmental Agreement with the County in October 2012 which will pay the County at least $9 million annually to offset the project’s impacts, plus up to $38 million more a year for parks, preservation of open spaces, and other joint ecological projects.
The Tribe has made significant contributions to restore environmental habitat and watersheds, to improve public safety, and to promote educational opportunity as follows:
- Education — Contributed $2.653 million to Sonoma State University, College of Marin, Santa Rosa Junior College, and Rancho Cotati High School.
- Environment — Assigned its $4.171 million purchase option to the Sonoma Land Trust for 1,679 acres along Highway 37 and San Pablo Bay in southern Sonoma County in November 2003, followed by a $75,000 contribution to the Sonoma Land Trust to establish a successful fundraising drive for the purchase of the 1,679 acres and other remaining open space along Highway 37. The tribe will donate a contiguous 321-acre parcel for conservation purposes. The Tribe contributed $115,200 to the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation to establish the Laguna Learning Center, and for other purposes. The Tribe is currently contributing $500,000 toward the development of the master plan and environmental assessment for Tolay Lake Regional Park pursuant to an agreement with Sonoma County.
- Public Safety — Over $2.7 million in advance payments under the Rohnert Park MOU to the Rohnert Park Public Safety Department for funding a highly successful special enforcement unit to combat gangs and other criminal activity.
- Community Support — The Project enjoys significant local support, including some 7,000 local residents, who have signed on to support the Tribe and the Graton Resort and Casino project.