A new group of Longview residents are working to legalize the sale of beer and wine in the dry areas of Longview.
The group is called ‘The Longview United for Growth Committee," and they say "going damp" will help the city grow.
"The more we started knocking on doors and talking to folks, we found out that a big factor in why we couldn't get new business to come to parts of our city is because they are dry," says Kimberly Fish, the organizer of ‘Longview United for Growth'.
Tuesday was the first day Longview residents could sign a petition to put the sale of beer and wine on the May 2013 ballot.
Part of Longview already allows the sale of alcohol. In 2007, Longview residents voted to allow mixed beverage alcohol sales in restaurants, but the legal sale of beer and wine for off premise consumption was not passed.
Many residents say that decision is affecting the growth of Longview.
"I have not discussed it in a long time. I know this came up several years ago and we would have had some other businesses in town if there were other wet areas in town," says Jeff Atkinson, a Longview resident.
The ‘Longview United for Growth Committee' says the solution is going damp.
"By being damp, what we're doing is just really opening the doors for more grocery stores and convenience stores to move into our area because they are really not going to come unless they can sell beer and wine," Fish says.
The group needs 6,000 signatures from registered Longview voters in the next 60 days, and so far the response is good.
"If it helps the Longview economy, I'm all for the sale of alcohol all over town," Atkinson says.
The group says they will be at several Longview grocery and convenience stores during the next few weeks, gathering as many signatures as possible.
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