[CR] Week in Review

Now that this week is over, the [CR] staff has returned from the NCSL and ALEC conferences in Philadelphia and Atlanta. We’d like to take a moment to thank all of our supporters across the country for spreading the word and helping us achieve our goals at these two major events. At both conferences, we met with lawmakers, staffers, and other organizations who are interested in continuing this conversation over the course of the next few months. If you haven’t done so already, sign up for the [CR] newsletter so that you can stay up to date on all of the latest developments as we look to build on this positive momentum. As promised, here are a few photos from the NCSL Summit in Philadelphia:

[CR] Display

(The [CR] exhibition display set up inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center)

[CR] Gear

(Choose Responsibility gear on display at the NCSL Summit)

CR Stickers

(The new [CR] sticker design. What do you think of it?)

Many thanks to intern Will Bellaimey for holding down the fort on the [CR] blog while most of the staff was in Philadelphia. Here are the latest headlines from around the country:

Stories this week:

After returning from Philadelphia, [CR] President John McCardell was interviewed on a number of different radio stations across the country from Boston, MA to Portland, OR to discuss the 25th anniversary of the signing of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act. Here’s a small sampling of audio clips – check them out if you didn’t catch the interviews on your local station: KGO-AM (San Francisco, CA), KKLS-FM (The Hot 104.7 Morning Show with Andy, Sioux Falls, SD), and KMOX-AM (Total Information AM, St. Louis, MO).

A controversy is brewing in Minneapolis as lawmakers are considering changes to local laws in an attempt to prevent music fans under the age of 21 from having access to alcohol at 18-and-over shows. According to Tim Horgen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, “officials say some of the more unsavory elements of downtown nightlife — fighting, drunken disturbances — originate at businesses that cater to clubbers below the legal drinking age.” A proposed change would bar alcohol sales from all 18-and-over shows while keeping the 18-20 crowd out of 21+ shows. Safety is a major concern, but some young people aren’t convinced that the changes will accomplish anything. Jen Boyles of the Minneapolis City Pages spoke with a local student who said that he “goes to several 18+ shows per month and hasn’t noticed a problem with people drinking inside the club-they drink before they go in.” What do you think of these potential changes? Will dry 18-and-over shows help curb alcohol abuse? Will policy changes harm the music scene for legal adults in Minneapolis? Leave your take in the comments.

Did you catch [CR] Executive Director Mike Giuliani’s comments in the Des Moines Register earlier this week? When Register reporter Reid Forgrave asked him about the drinking age debate, he said that cultural change should be our goal. While alcohol used to be part of a social event for young adults, Giuliani said, “now alcohol is the event.”

In other news…

Baldur Hedinsson of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on a new study that tries to determine which messages are effective in curbing alcohol abuse by young people. According to this new research, temperance lectures aren’t useful: “scare tactics” don’t work, but one-on-one interventions can help.

The editorial board of the Mason City Globe Gazette spoke out against proposed local legislation that would allow law enforcement officials to cite underage drinkers for having alcohol on their breath. They made it clear that they don’t endorse lawbreaking behavior, but are aware of the limitations of these types of laws: “Obviously there are no easy solutions to underage drinking, but giving police authority to test without probable cause seems over the top, jams up good kids for doing something we know they’re going to do anyway, and carries too much potential for selective enforcement.” What do you think of their position?

Did we miss something in this week’s update? Leave a link for us in the comments and enjoy the weekend!

One Response to “[CR] Week in Review”

  1. Edwin Says:

    The drinking age must be lowered to 18 along with an alcohol education program. Minneapolis must not enact a law which prevents the sale of alcohol to 18+ shows and that city must not also keep out those aged 18-20 by creating more 21+ shows. To decrease binge drinking among university students ‘scare tactics’ musn’t be used because reasoning explains the consequences of binge drinking. The Editorial Board is correct for speaking against the ageist legislation. The NCSL and ALEC conferences were important.