No. 75: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

Illustration by Chris Shary

75.  Mark Macarro

Mark Macarro, the Tribal Chairman of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, is serving his 12th consecutive two-year term on the Council and is in his 25th year as Tribal Chair. Macarro is viewed as one of the most influential tribal voices in California, and he led the recent effort – stymied by the coronavirus’ effect on signature-gathering – to place a sports wagering measure on the 2020 ballot; the campaign is now targeting 2022. The initiative, which has the support of 18 tribes, followed an effort by Sen. Bill Dodd and Assemblyman Adam Gray to put a different sports betting measure – developed without input from Pechanga – on the ballot. The COVID-19 pandemic not only sidelined the tribes’ efforts at signature-gathering, but also forced the closure of Pechanga and other casinos. Pechanga and the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians were the first in the state to close their facilities, shutting the doors on March 16 and remaining out of operation until June 1, when they reopened with limited operations.

Updated Aug. 11, 2020

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