Archive for the '[CR] News' Category

[CR] at the NCSL Summit.

Monday, July 20th, 2009

This week we’ve sent Grace and Nick to Philadelphia for the National Conference of State Legislators Legislative Summit. State Senators and Representatives from around the country will be meeting to share their ideas for effective state government. On Wednesday, [CR] President John McCardell will be giving a presentation entitled Binge Drinking: A Public Health Crisis to a group of over fifty legislators who serve on key committees in states tackling this problem. Check out the [CR] video archive to get a taste of what John will be saying. And check back here or follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the week from Philadelphia, and as always, from our DC headquarters. What would you want your State Senators and Representatives to know about the reality of drinking in your community? Let us know in the comment thread.

[CR] on 60 Minutes This Sunday!

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

The air date has finally arrived!

This Sunday, February 22nd, [CR] will make its appearance on CBS’ 60 Minutes. Check your local listings for airtimes (7 ET/PT).

The 60 Minutes piece is going to be another round of great exposure and an excellent follow up to the coverage of the Amethyst Initiative. We are extremely excited by the growing momentum in this important debate. To maximize our exposure we need your help to make the most of this amazing opportunity. Here are some ways you can help:

  • Host a get-together to view 60 Minutes and then have a discussion after the show airs. You can treat your party as a time to motivate friends to act or as a time to recruit new volunteers for [CR].
  • Tell us your story: One of the new features on our website allows us to feature personal stories from people whose lives have been affected by binge drinking and the other issues created by the 21 year-old drinking age. What was your experience? Let us know here.
  • Help us support the hard work of [CR] volunteers across the country by making a donation. The cost of outfitting five [CR] volunteers with the tools needed to spread the word about our cause is $25. With your support, we can continue to expand the debate across the country.

We hope you enjoy the 60 Minutes segment. If you miss the segment, keep an eye on this page for the online video. After it airs, let us know what you think!

Paul Clarke of NYT’s “Proof”: Why (and How) I Drink

Monday, February 9th, 2009

Paul Clarke of the New York Times‘ group blog “Proof: Alcohol and American Life” posted a great entry last Friday on the need for realistic alcohol education that involves parents and is based in the home.  Clarke wrote:

Knowing that my 6-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son will likely start to experiment with alcohol in – let’s be realistic – about a decade, give or take, I fully realize that every time my wife or I take a drink around them, a message is being sent. There are several directions this can go, and I understand I’ll never have total control over any of them. If completely banishing alcohol from our home would protect them from any of its hazards later in life, it’d be an easy choice, but as my old hard-drinking friends demonstrated, that’s just a bit too simple and naïve to be a realistic option.

Visit Proof and read the whole entry.

John McCardell on Pajamas TV

Friday, January 30th, 2009

John McCardell had a chance to stop by the PajamasTV studios in LA today and appeared live online in an interview with University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Reynolds.  You can watch their discussion here.

Check it out, and let us know what you think.  It’s hard to disagree with the argument that the 21 year-old drinking age is both an abridgment of the 18 year-old age of majority and an intrusion on states’ rights–a major point of the interview.

Also check out Glenn Reynolds’s recent advice to President Obama regarding the drinking age.

Philip Cook on the Amethyst Initiative

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

Duke University economics professor Philip Cook is publishing a week-long series on alcohol control policy at the popular legal blog Volokh Conspiracy. Today, he expressed support for [CR]’s mission in a post about the Amethyst Initiative and suggested a specific legislative approach: He’d like to see “a ‘learners permit’ approach to youthful drinking, whereby a ‘drinking license’ would be given to 18 year olds and subject to suspension if they abused it.” Read the rest of his post here.

An Award For The Amethyst Initiative

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

The Amethyst Initiative has received a lot of press in the past few weeks, and now the awards are rolling in. On September 5th, [CR] Director John McCardell accepted the 2008 WCTU Millstone Award on behalf of the Amethyst Initiative. Three representatives from the WCTU were nice enough to stop by the [CR] offices to present the award. Read more about it here.

Media update: 8/22

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

Here is some notable media coverage that appeared Thursday and Friday:

Wall Street Journal
Houston Chronicle
New York Times
WAMC Albany Public Radio “Vox Pop”
Los Angeles Times
Chicago Sun Times

An update from the front lines: Midnight, August 21

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

A quick update….

Our small staff of three has been under a deluge of media requests and public attention over the past 48 hours—a very happy problem! Our one regret is that we have not been able to respond to all requests and inquiries received so far, and that we have not be able to keep our members up to date as to how all of this coverage of [CR] and the Amethyst Initiative is unfolding.

Here is our best attempt at some highlights:

Over the past 2 days:
• We have received over 50,000 visitors to Amethyst Initiative
• We have received over 5,000 visitors to Choose Responsibility
• Over 500 new, enthusiastic supporters have signed on as volunteers and subscribers
• We have been featured live on CNN, FoxNews, NBC Nightly News, ABC Evening News, and the CBS Early Show
• We have given countless (well, when we are able to count we’ll let you know) interviews for stories appearing in newspaper, radio, and television outlets across the nation

In the midst of all of this coverage, and vicious attacks from MADD, we have added nearly 20 new signatories in support of the Amethyst Initiative.

And here is some of our favorite coverage, many of which are editorials supporting national debate on Legal Age 21:

WNYC Public Radio: Brian Lehrer Show

Scripps News Service
San Francisco Chronicle
Savannah Morning News

Panama City News Herald

Grand Forks Herald
Austin American Statesman
Mankato Free Press
Grand Junction Daily Sentinel
Baltimore Sun
Hartford Courant

Washington Post

This list is by no means exhaustive—in fact, it is barely scratching the surface. Please stay tuned as this coverage continues.

Our issue is gaining traction and momentum, and we are happy to have you on board. Let us know what you are hearing in your communities about the drinking age debate.

[CR] announces Amethyst Initiative

Tuesday, August 19th, 2008

We are pleased to announce Choose Responsibility’s newest project, the Amethyst Initiative. For the last few months, we have been working quietly with a group of college presidents to produce a statement on Legal Age 21 and to reach out to colleges and universities across the nation who feel similarly. As of today, we have a growing list of over 100 college and university presidents who have signed a statement that declares 21 is not working and calls on elected officials to support open debate, re-consider the 10% highway fund “incentive” that has kept the drinking age at 21 in every state, and to discuss new ideas about the best ways to prepare young adults to make responsible decisions about alcohol use.

This effort was made public to the press by an outside source late last week and was covered Monday in an Associated Press story that will likely be featured in your local paper on Tuesday. Please share the story with your friends, colleagues, and classmates. Check out the list of signatories—is your alma mater listed there? If not, we hope you will consider writing to your president and asking him or her to consider joining the Amethyst Initiative.

We encourage you to follow this developing story and keep posted for updates.

Barrett Seaman wins RSA Journalism Award

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

Congratulations to Choose Responsibility Board member Barrett Seaman who won Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA) 2008 Journalism Award.  Barrett was recognized for his 2005 book Binge: Campus Life in an Age of Disconnection and Excess and the contributions it made to alcohol research and to college student drinking specifically.  Dr. Scott Swartzwelder, also a [CR] Board member and active RSA research scientist, nominated Binge for the Award, and in his presentation stated “The awards committee recognized [Seaman’s] work to reflect excellent scholarship and high social relevance and noted that his commitment to the issue of college drinking was enduring and impressive.”  The Award was presented at the closing dinner of the RSA Annual Meeting in Washington, DC on July 2.  The entire Board and staff of Choose Responsibility was present to celebrate this important recognition of Barrett’s contribution to the field. 


Barrett Seaman’s acceptance remarks:

“Thanks, Scott, judges.  I’m flattered but frankly astonished that a group of data-driven, knowledgeable scientists would actually be enlightened by the musings of a journalist who wandered into the thick of American campus life with a notebook in his hand.  Makes me think I must have gotten at least part of it right.




I believe that we cannot expect young people to learn how to handle alcohol responsibly if we walk out of the room and assume that the law is going to solve the problem.  We need to be in that room, demonstrating that one doesn’t need to do shots and get falling down drink to enjoy oneself.



I would urge you, as scientists, to help us, as a society, find the right balance between legislating behavior, as we try to do now, and educating young people objectively so they can take responsibility for their behavior.”



Congratulations to Barrett for this great achievement!  See here for coverage from Hamilton College.