3CDC wants to get you drunk (If you have enough money)!

3CDC wants to get you drunk (If you have enough money)!

From the Director
By: Josh Spring LSW, Executive Director

3CDC claims that by having alcohol sold by them in Washington Park they can control the effects of alcohol in Washington Park. The logical question is:  In order to control the effects of the alcohol will they be selling watered down, or extra powerful alcohol?

For years before the $48 million renovation, 3CDC spent a lot of time saying there was too much drinking of alcohol in Washington Park, and that there was too much drunkenness, and because of things like this, the Park was not safe.

Yet, 3CDC has applied to the State of Ohio for a permit to sell alcohol in Washington Park. When questioned about who would be allowed to drink alcohol in the park if they were to receive this permit, 3CDC explained that only those purchasing the alcohol from the vending station in Washington Park would be allowed.

Therefore, if 3CDC is to get their permit, there could be two people sitting on a bench drinking a beer; one drinking out of a plastic cup purchased from 3CDC, and one drinking out of a can purchased from a local store.

However, the person drinking the cheaper can of beer could be cited for committing a crime and arrested, while the person drinking the 3CDC beer could continue to sit drinking in the public park.

If 3CDC gets their way, anybody would be able to drink alcohol in Washington Park, but only if he/she has enough money to pay for the more expensive alcoholic beverage. Obviously, this leads to discrimination based on economic class.

In addition to this, consider again that for years 3CDC has spoken of the supposed “woes” of “dealing” with a park where consumption of alcohol took place, but now they want to sell alcohol in the park.

This is hypocritical at best. They explain that selling alcohol in the park will create more revenue for the park, help pay for the operation of the park, and that this is a major reason for wanting to sell alcohol.

It should be known, that the annual cost to run Washington Park used to be less than $100,000 annually, and now that 3CDC is involved, it will cost $450,000 annually, so they are trying to create a way to generate these dollars they have created the need for.

They also say that if they sell alcohol in the park, they can control its effects more. This may sound like a one- liner, but it makes no sense. If the two people I described earlier are sitting on a bench, are about the same height and weight, and one is drinking a 3CDC beer while the other one is drinking a cheaper beer, which person will become more drunk and possibly more belligerent?

Which person will possibly have less control?  Obviously this is absurd to even think about, but the effect will be the same on both parties regardless of where the beer was purchased and for how much money it cost.

So, what does 3CDC really mean when they say they will be able to control and handle things better? Either they think we are all unintelligent, and won’t think a second beyond their words, and/or mean they will be able to control who drinks alcohol in the park.

It is certainly not outlandish to think that 3CDC believes people with more money are more likely to be civil while drinking alcohol in Washington Park, than people with less money. This is not a crazy thought. 3CDC has continually stereotyped, and even worked to displace people who have less money.

One more thought: Why do we need alcohol in Washington Park to begin with? 3CDC will tell us that people are more likely to come to concerts and events in the park if alcohol is available because “people attending events expect an atmosphere with alcohol.” They are assuming people only want to hear live music if they are drinking. Even if they were right, one can literally get an alcoholic beverage in six different places, all within one block of Washington Park.

For all the extremely exaggerated and often made up talk of public drunkenness in Over-the-Rhine in the past, there is far more alcohol flowing in Over-the-Rhine now than just a couple of years ago.

Public intoxication has certainly increased. The question 3CDC is creating is: who is allowed to drink where?

Apparently, 3CDC would like people with less money to only drink in their own private spaces, where few can see.  And they want people with more money to be openly seen drinking alcohol in public. If alcohol is allowed to be consumed in Washington Park, it should be allowed for all. If it is not allowed for all, it should not be allowed for any.

To oppose the further privatization of the Public Washington Park, come to City Hall Monday, August 6th at 11am, and please arrive a bit early if you can. The State of Ohio will be using City Hall to hold a hearing about the contested 3CDC liquor permit application for Washington Park.

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