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Wet Dry Campaign Launched In Dallas

By Bill Zeeble, KERA News

Dallas, TX – Advocates for ending Dallas's wet-dry law just launched their "Keep the Dollars in Dallas" campaign. The law they want voters to kill in November limits alcohol sales in some parts of town. KERA's Bill Zeeble reports.

A group of real estate developers, grocers, and restaurant owners say it's time to end the law established here in the 1870s.

Mickey Ashmore, with United Commercial Realty, says wet-dry laws put Dallas at a disadvantage.

Ashmore: The developers we work with today, they can get better deals done and make things happen by working in the suburbs. This Law needs to be changed. It's really created an opportunity for the suburbs to take a way a lot of our tax dollars and we need to get them back in our city.

Ashmore says if voters choose Yes and overturn the wet-dry law, debt-ridden Dallas could realize at least $20 million in tax revenues. Jamee Jolly, with the Dallas Restaurant Association, says a change in the law is also about customer convenience.

Jamee Jolly: They want to be able go to their favorite restaurants and order a beverage without having to join a private club.

Opponents want the law to stay, and say it's been good for Dallas. Some leaders, especially in the southern sector, worry that the elimination of the wet-dry law could lead to an abundance of liquor stores which could ruin both stable, and some at-risk neighborhoods.

Email Bill Zeeble