The Longview City Council approved a petition that will place alcohol on the ballot on May 11.
"The voters will decide, which is the way it should be. We live in a democracy and the voters should have the say," says Jay Dean, the mayor of Longview.
More than 6,000 signatures were verified by the city secretary. Longview United for Growth needed 5,375 for the petition to be approved.
"That tells me that the people in the grassroots community really understand that the issue is really about the grocery stores and convenience stores, getting them what they need in order to come into our neighborhoods," says Kimberly Fish of Longview United for Growth.
The petition allows a vote for the legal sale of beer and wine for off-premise consumption only. That means it will only allow beer and wine sales in businesses such as grocery and convenience stores, and it will not allow additional package liquor sales or liquor stores, except those already approved by voters in previous elections. Currently Longview alcohol sales are based on elections held after prohibition, which legalized alcohol sales on the southern and eastern part of the city to the Gregg-Harrison County line.
"This is a portion of our city that is poised for growth," Fish says. "What we are trying to do is open the door for that growth."
In 2007, Longview citizens voted to allow mixed beverage alcohol sales in restaurants.
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