Dallas Wet-Dry Issue Headed for Vote

Council sets November election but opponents challenge certification

The Dallas city council set a public vote for November on whether beer and wine can be sold city-wide after the city secretary on Wednesday certified enough valid signatures on a petition. But opponents immediately promised a legal fight to keep it off the November ballot.

If ultimately passed, Dallas would become “wet” across the city for beer and wine, replacing the patchwork of “wet” and “dry” areas now in place. Liquor sales would not be affected.

Progress Dallas, the group backing the proposal, released a statement saying it “is pleased Dallas residents will have the opportunity to vote on this important issue.”

The group, made up largely of grocers and restaurant owners, said, “Dallas voters signed petitions in record numbers because they understand how changing these archaic laws will promote economic development and keep millions in tax revenues in Dallas.”

But Dallas Mayor Pro-tem Dwaine Caraway said making dry areas of Dallas wet would “devastate” South Dallas.“This is something being rammed down the southern sector’s throats,” Caraway said. “You won the first round but this is a 12-round fight. We are going to be duking it out.”

City councilman Steve Salazar also spoke against the idea. “The proponents are saying, ‘We just want to sell more alcohol to make money,’” he said.

Dallas attorney Andy Siegel, who said he represents a group of pastors and liquor stores, challenged the certification process and said he would file a lawsuit on Thursday.

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