More recently, protest efforts, community organizing and legal action have combined to focus attention on the area around and between Lincoln High School and Pearl C. Anderson Learning Center. The area immediately around Pearl C. is home to 10 liquor stores.
Not long ago, one of the stores lost its license to sell alcohol. The community celebrated the decision by Dallas County Clerk Cynthia Calhoun to close Buy N Save Discount Beer & Wine. Unfortunately, her decision was overturned last week by a Dallas County judge who cited “procedural errors” in the ruling and sent the case back to the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission (TABC). The TABC could decide to renew the store’s license or call for another public hearing on the matter.
Since the mid-1990s, neighbors, school leaders and students have been working to get the stores closed due to their proximity to the schools. In 1995, their efforts paid off as the Dallas City Council passed an ordinance that established a 1,000-foot alcohol free zone around specified schools.
Unfortunately, the existing stores were “grandfathered” and allowed to continue business inside the zone around Pearl C.
All sorts of negative activities have been reported and documented as occurring in and around stores like Buy N Save that do business in the Lincoln/Pearl C. area, including prostitution, selling alcohol to minors and drug trafficking. For years, students walking to and from school have been subjected to all sorts of negative experiences, influences and harassment.
Neighbors and school leaders have been vigilant in their protests and watchfulness, but the stores remain.
I’m reminded of Mr. Price’s earlier actions on behalf of some of the same families, and his entire district.
Why should South Dallas be subjected to such influences? Folks in North Dallas wouldn’t put up with such circumstances even for a moment. What's more, they would be heard. Folks in South Dallas don't seem to get the same sort of hearing, attention or responsiveness from public officials as those who live up North.
If you live in Dallas, write your Council Member, as the Council is considering the creation of more alcohol-free zones around other public schools in the city.
[For more details, see “Move against beer store near school reversed,” by Scott Goldstein, The Dallas Morning News, Thursday, March 22, 2007, page 8B.]