Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Death at the Liquor Store
An abundance of local, national and international studies show that concentrations of liquor outlets result in higher crime rates, public nuisance issues and community health problems for nearby neighborhoods. The City of Oakland has policies limiting liquor outlets, while the City of Berkeley has worked to limit or shut down nuisance liquor stores in South Berkeley. However, the process to shut down nuisance liquor stores in either city is arduous and lengthy. All the while, neighborhoods suffer the spillover effects greatly diminishing their quality of life and endangering their families.
Despite the existing policies limiting liquor stores and the abundance of peer reviewed studies showing the detrimental effects of concentrations of liquor outlets, Oakland City Councilmembers Rebecca Kaplan, Larry Reid and Desley Brooks all supported more liquor sales in North Oakland by voting to approve the Nic Nak using an unprecendented rationale of "historical relevance" fabricated by Planning Commissioner's Anne E. Mudge and Doug Boxer. The rationale was rejected by the City Attorney and a majority of the City Council and Nic Nak was denied liquor sales.