In light of the recent West End (in Louisville) decision to ban all alcohol sales (Hello, prohibition!), we’re republishing this piece in full from our sister site The ‘Ville Voice.
The wet-dry vote in western Louisville got plenty of media exposure for Cheri Bryant Hamilton of the Metro Council, whose district included the four affected precincts near Shawnee High School. Even before the vote was final, Mary Woolridge and Judy Green of neighboring districts were speculating about precincts upon which they could force a similar vote. It’s a pretty simple process — just get some signatures on petitions, force the vote, and shut down any business that doesn’t fly with your sense of moral values.
The logic in this case seems to be that if you can eliminate liquor sales, then crime problems will naturally go away. Both Woolridge and Green plan to have town hall meetings to discuss the issue as early as October in Districts 1 and 3. Some residents have said they’re frustrated with the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control office, which too easily grants liquor licenses, in their view.
“They were waiting to see how it turned out (in Shawnee) to see if they would go forward,” said Tony Hyatt, the Metro Council spokesperson.
Don’t be surprised if this becomes a raison d’etre for some Council members. Now that the body has figured out the popularity of banning nudity, smoking, dogs and…coming soon: trans fat, it won’t be long before more sinful activities get the boot. Maybe the Council could get some mileage from opposing gambling. That one’s not working too well for Ernie Fletcher, but if you could restrict to a precinct, it only takes a few hundred votes to win.
The Metro Council’s vision of civic duty seems to be moving toward removing from your life options that could potentially harm you, and it’s playing well with voters. Stephen George, in this week’s LEO, points out the dangers in having politicians making decisions to restrict your choices.
If you’re completely in awe of the decision to ban the sale of alcohol in just one precinct in the state’s largest city– here are the full details from the Courier-Journal.
Coming up: The Intrepid Reporter tells the voters in District 5 what they’ve done.