Coalition to Ban Alcohol Ads on Public Property in Los Angeles Hits the Streets to Text Digital Proof of Pervasive Alcohol Advertising
Grassroots Photo Campaign Targets L.A. Public Safety Committee
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Armed with smart phones, members of the Coalition to Ban Alcohol Ads on Public Property in Los Angeles and hundreds of community supporters launched a grassroots City-wide campaign today to document the over-proliferation of alcohol ads on public property. Activists are canvassing neighborhoods and contributing photos of ads in this first-ever mobile phone texting campaign designed to wake-up members of the Los Angeles Public Safety Committee to the public health threat of over-exposing vulnerable populations to seductive alcohol advertising.
“Our new year’s resolution is to end the era of alcohol ads on Los Angeles public property,” stated Jorge Castillo, Advocacy & Outreach Manager at Alcohol Justice. “With hundreds of residents taking photos all day throughout L.A., and texting them to 213 840-3336, we’ll have graphic, snap-shot proof of just how prevalent alcohol ads are in our communities.”
Coalition members are concentrating on documenting outdoor alcohol ads on public property in the districts of the Los Angeles City Public Safety Committee councilmembers Mitchell Englander, Jan Perry, Paul Krekorian, and Dennis Zine. The committee has thus far refused to put forth a motion introduced last summer by Councilmember Richard Alarcon that would ban alcohol ads on city owned and controlled property.
“The impact of underage drinking on our City is devastating–taking young lives and creating enormous financial costs for taxpayers in L.A.,” said Councilmember Alarcon. “Banning alcohol advertising on City property, including the many areas frequented by minors, is the responsible choice for Los Angeles and sends an important message that the City does not condone or promote underage or irresponsible drinking.”
The public is encouraged to participate by simply taking a picture of an outdoor alcohol ad on a bus shelter, kiosk or newspaper rack in Los Angeles. Then text it to 213 840-3336, along with a brief description of where the ad is located, and if it’s close to a school, yellow cross walk, church, park, library, or community center.
“To see it is to believe it. It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that our youth are protected from abusive and unnecessary alcohol advertising on public property,” said Hugo L. Pacheco, President of the Mexican-American History Foundation. “We must prevent public property from being used to influence impressionable young people to pursue an abusive alcohol lifestyle,” he added. “We encourage everyone to help us protect public health by taking pictures of examples of this visual abuse and texting them to 213-840-3336. As the saying goes – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Dennis Hathaway, President of the Coalition to Ban Billboard Blight believes that dedicating this day to documenting the over-proliferation of alcohol advertising in L.A. will help bring about the ban on alcohol advertising on City-owned property. “We believe these spaces should be free of all commercial advertising, but allowing ads for products that cause immense harm to the very people using those facilities would be especially irresponsible of a City Committee charged with protecting public safety,” he stated.
“Passing an ordinance to ban alcohol ads on public property is especially important right now because of the current push by some officials to allow commercial ads in city parks, recreation facilities, and other public spaces that are heavily used by children and youth,” Hathaway added.
“Individuals, small groups, and organizations, do not have the money or power to compete with the liquor industry’s ability to target youth with all their liquor advertising,” stated Ruben Rodriguez, Chair of Coalition to Ban Alcohol Ads on Public Property in Los Angeles and Executive Director of Pueblo y Salud, Inc. “That’s why local governments need to intervene, in order to limit Big Alcohol’s ability to advertise in cities throughout the country.”
“In Los Angeles, A.W.A.R.E. is proud to be a part of this healthy process,” said Johnny Whitaker, Liaison & Alumni Coordinator, Tarzana Treatment Centers & AWARE Coalition. “We will not give up until the safety of our youth and the dignity of those suffering from alcohol over-consumption are ensured by forever removing alcohol advertising from our public spaces.”
For more information on the dangers of alcohol advertising go to: www.NoAlcoholAds.org
Contact: Ruben Rodriguez 818 203-2811 Dennis Hathaway 310 386-9661 Hugo Pacheco 213 528-7605
SOURCE Coalition to Ban Alcohol Ads on Public Property in Los Angeles