Monday, February 21, 2011

Fight the Power! Beer Rally at Georgia's Capitol Building this Wednesday

Still no Sunday Sales of alcohol in Georgia? Not so fast!
It's Sunday and the big game is about to come on that new HD television you traded your car in for, but damn! The unexpected company from the night before pillaged your fridge and all the brew is gone. Well, thanks to an existing Georgia law that disallows alcohol sales in retail stores on Sundays, it looks like that last 12-oz. imperial stout you had saved since Christmas of 2008 will be popped open and poured in a shot glass to last the day.
It's instances like this, along with simply not having the option to conveniently buy alcohol in stores on Sunday that has the grassroots organization, Georgians for Sunday Sales, and hundreds of state citizens convening at the Georgia Capitol at noon on Wednesday, February 23, to show how they are all tired of following the stubborn existing laws. The goal? To give individual communities the right to vote on whether they want Sunday sales or not.
One of the chief rally supporters, Jennifer O'Connell, says, "This rally was organized by Georgians for Sunday Sales and Representative Stephanie Stuckey Benfield to show the GA Legislature our support for Local Option Sunday Sales and House Bill 69 which is currently in committee. Plus, to express our disapproval of how the Senate stopped SB 10 in a closed door meeting which prevented it from going up for vote."
Besides the official press release below, here are some great letters that break down what's going on and why passing SB 10 and HB 69 need to happen!
Join the rally to get Senate Bill 10 and House Bill 69 to pass through. I'll be there!
Georgians for Sunday Sales Coalition to Sponsor Press Conference and Rally
Atlanta, GA – Georgians for Sunday Sales, a grassroots, bipartisan organization, will hold a press conference and rally on Wednesday, February 23 at 12 pm on the Capitol Steps (Washington Street side) to urge passage of a bill to allow local communities to decide whether local retailers should sell alcohol on Sunday.

Georgia is one of only three states in the country that does not provide some option for the off-premise sale of beer, wine, or liquor on Sunday. Because Georgia is the only state in the Southeast with a total ban on Sunday sales, we are at a distinct economic disadvantage. For many Georgians, the current law defies common sense. “The state allows us to drive to a restaurant on Sunday to buy alcohol, but the state won’t let us go to the corner store to buy beer to drink in the safety of our own home,” says Zak Koffler, one of the organizers of the rally.

Moreover, shopping patterns have changed in Georgia. Sunday is now the highest volume shopping day in many areas throughout Georgia. Yet customers who enter a retail store on Sunday are prohibited from purchasing alcohol. “As a busy mom, Sundays are the best days for me to do my family’s grocery shopping since our Saturdays are filled with soccer games, birthday parties, and other family activities. Yet, I have to make a separate trip to buy a bottle of wine,” says Stephanie Stuckey Benfield, a state representative from Decatur and mother of two.

Two bills to allow local communities to vote on Sunday sales are currently pending in the Georgia Legislature, Senate Bill 10 and House Bill 69. Both measures are being held in committee.

The event is open to the public. Persons interested in attending can contact Zak Koffler at (770) 851-5654.

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