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Residents Join Dwaine Caraway To Protest Wet-Dry Vote

By Bud Gillett, CBS 11 News
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(credit: www.spiritsdallas.com)

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The election is over, but opponents of the wet-dry vote in Dallas are not giving up. Some from the Southern sector brought their unhappiness to City Hall Wednesday, expressing frustration that alcohol will soon be sold city-wide.

“We want to have a civilized place to call home and to live,” said Tommy Brown, a pastor from Oak Cliff.

Members of the public joined Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway inside City Hall Wednesday in an effort to raise concern of how Proposition 1, which voters approved Nov. 2, will be administered.

The proposition eliminates the city’s dry zones – most of which fall in the southern sector – allowing any business to apply for a permit to sell alcohol.

“The citizens of Oak Cliff and those in other parts of south Dallas want a safe place to live,” Brown said.

The council was set to canvass the vote and officially approve its outcome. Caraway insisted he wasn’t trying to block the proposition, just make sure the city doesn’t rubber-stamp each and every application to sell alcohol.

“How can we best regulate times of delivery, number of trucks, spacing, zoning, who can and who can’t, those that are close to parks and schools and churches,” Caraway asked.

But voters overwhelmingly approved the measure, which also does away with the need for a Unicard or a special license at restaurants that wish to serve wine or beer. But an attorney for the losing side is threatening to go to court Friday to try and block implementation.

Attorney Andy Siegel – no relation to the local beverage company – claims the entire election is invalid because the city did not properly certify signatures on the Spring petition drive that forced the election.

“There were never enough petition signatures under state law to put it on the law in the first place,” Siegel said. “And second, because the only way you hold a valid wet-dry election is to preserve historically wet-dry areas.”

In other words, only the traditionally “dry” areas should have been allowed the vote, not the city at large. However, the council didn’t see it that way and ultimately approved the election’s outcome.

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