Hooray! We are 100% in support of this, of course. I wrote about this last year, but the bill has finally been introduced. You can help by contacting your senators and assembly members to express support.
Today Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) announced the introduction of Senate Bill 905, which will allow -- but not require -- cities to extend sales of alcohol at bars, nightclubs, and restaurants (but not liquor stores) to as late as 4 a.m. The new 5-year pilot program version of the LOCAL Act, which stands for Let Our Communities Adjust Late-Night, preserves complete local control in terms of decision-making and applies only to the six cities whose Mayors have expressed interest in pursuing later hours: San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Sacramento, West Hollywood, and Long Beach.
Last year, a different version of this bill authored by Senator Wiener (allowing local control throughout California), passed the Senate with a 2/3 bipartisan vote and garnered significant support in the Assembly. Unfortunately, the bill was "held" by the chair of the Assembly Appropriations Committee and not submitted for a vote by that committee. At the time, Senator Wiener vowed to bring back this effort to support nightlife. [...]
SB 905 does not automatically extend alcohol sale hours in these six cities -- it simply creates the option for the cities to choose to extend hours. As with the previous bill, cities will have significant flexibility and can, for example, limit extended hours only to certain neighborhoods, only to certain nights of the week, or only to a few nights a year. Local governments still will have to create and approve a plan, which ABC will also have to approve, to allow for later service hours with full community input. The bill also has a five-year sunset, which means the effects of allowing later service hours can be evaluated and then renewed or discontinued after five years. The full text of the bill can be found here. [...]
Ben Bleiman, California Music and Culture Association and the San Francisco Bar Owners Alliance: "This will would - finally! - allow these California cities who chose to do so to extend their operating hours to match other world-class nightlife cities in the U.S.A and abroad. Currently, we are at a huge disadvantage when competing with cities like Chicago, Washington D.C., New York City, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Miami Beach, and New Orleans, all of whom have late-night service hours beyond 2 a.m."
Joe D'Alessandro, President and CEO of San Francisco Travel Association: "Tourism is San Francisco's number one industry providing significant economic benefits to the people and workforce of our City and our important small business network. Permitting bars to extend their hours allows San Francisco to stay competitive in the night life scene with cities such as New York, Chicago, and Washington D.C. who are all vying for a share of the business, leisure and convention market."
Jim Lazarus, senior vice president of public policy for the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce: "We should determine at a city level how to best attract and support local nightlife businesses. We can't take a one size fits all approach when it comes to nightlife in San Francisco neighborhoods. What's best for one neighborhood might not be best for another, and this legislation allows us to capitalize on nightlife as an economic driver, increase jobs and local tax revenue, when deemed appropriate in a specific area of the City."
There's was some Q&A on his Twitter before the lunatic fringe showed up:
@Scott_Wiener Each city will decide for itself whether or not to go later. @aclimbingnerd Why is San Diego being left out? @Scott_Wiener B/c there was significant opposition from San Diego & little support. It was clear San Diego was never going to adopt later hours. The opposition from cities that would never adopt it anyway was jeopardizing the whole bill. So we limited it to cities whose mayors say they want it @aclimbingnerd Thanks for the response, as a resident of San Diego I'm always amazed by the resistance to (in my opinion) common sense ideas in San Diego. @x thank you! How do we support this? Will help us service industry ppl & make roads safer! @Scott_Wiener Thanks! People you know around the state should contact their senators and assembly members to express support. @x thx! Think it helps if you explain this isn't just about drinking but business (more opportunities), safety (no rush of driving at 2am - stretches out times ppl can head home), and options (things to do/eat for service industry & Late hour workers like me). @jonwiley Any provision to enable future cities to opt-in without having to pass another bill? @Scott_Wiener No. We included the entire state in our effort last year & a lot of cities that would never even consider doing this still opposed the bill. It made no sense to me, but that's how it went. So this is a 5 year pilot in 6 cities. When the pilot ends the program can be expanded. @prince_erin I understand the economical standpoint but what research has been done in regards to public safety? Longer booze time means people can drink more. How will this impact dui's? @Scott_Wiener There's no evidence that increased service hours increases drunk driving. Comparing last call time to rates of DUI collisions in all 50 states shows zero correlation. If people are going to leave a bar drunk, they're going to do it whether they leave at 8 pm, midnight, 2, or 4. @dukoid Bars closing at 2am was really the strangest thing for me when visiting the land @CaliSeaShepherd Does this mean that only voters in these cities will have a say at the ballot box, or does all CA vote on it?