Yesterday, we blogged our emergency action alert asking you to call State House Representative John Taylor and demand that he vote no on HB 790, which would privatize state liquor stores.
Well, HB 790 is moving quickly--we're hearing from Representatives that vote will probably happen tomorrow. And unfortunately, John Taylor is still leaning towards a yes vote on privatization.
We still need folks to call Representative Taylor--
Tell him to vote NO on HB 790 and liquor privatization!
We also sent out yesterday's message via Twitter, Facebook, and our e-mail blast list, and want to share answers to some of the questions we got from folks about liquor privatization.. Yesterday's message generated some of the most passionate conversations and responses we've ever seen grow out of an action alert. We're lucky to have such an engaged base, and love that these blasts often generate such interesting discussions, both by e-mail and on our Facebook page and Twitter account.
Conservatives are railroading this bill through the state legislature, and there's still a lot of confusion over the facts behind our opposition to liquor privatization. We've had great conversations with many of our supporters on and offline about the topic, and we want to make sure we get the most important questions and answers out to everyone. So let's get to it!
- You asked: When JwJ says that privatization will increase drunk driving and underage drinking, is it accurate, and is it coming from a reliable source?
- Answer: This is for real.
The Community Preventative Services Task Force-- a nonpartisan subsidiary of the CDC-- conducted a meta-study on privatization of alcohol retail sales and their impact on alcohol-related heath issues, using data collected in states and countries that underwent privatization. The CDC found that liquor privatization strongly correlates with increases in underage drinking, excessive consumption, and drunk driving. Based on the results of this study, Mothers Against Drunk Driving also strongly opposes privatization of liquor sales.
We've seen multiple pro-privatization websites cite a study showing that the rates of drunk driving in Pennsylvania are similar to those in states with privatized liquor. The thing is, the issue here isn't about how many Pennsylvania drivers drive drunk right now in comparison to elsewhere. The real question we need to ask is whether privatization would INCREASE the rate of drunk driving in the state--and the data says it almost certainly will.
- You asked: Jobs with Justice is about labor stuff, right? Why talk about drunk driving and underage drinking? Is this just cynical fearmongering?
- Answer: Jobs with Justice fights for economic justice in workplaces and communities--and this bill negatively affects both.
We're a coalition full of active faith and community group membership in addition to our sisters and brothers in organized labor. During our work on the the last liquor privatization fight, constituent faith leaders from churches in lower income communities told us that while they sympathized with the plight of UFCW workers, they also wanted to see Jobs with Justice talk about the effect liquor privatization would have on the safety and health of the neighborhoods they served. We listened, and this time around we're talking about both workplace issues and public health issues.
- You asked: what gives with using that picture of a teenager behind the wheel downing a forty in the email yesterday? Seriously, it looks like a still from an especially cheesy 1980's drivers ed video.
- Answer: Yeah, you're right. That was picture was kind of ridiculous. Sorry.
Thanks to all the folks we've been talking to for helping us make sure that we're giving you the information you need.
So one more time, with feeling: don't forget to call State Representative Taylor if you haven't already--and maybe even if you already have!