Make the Last Call Against SB 384

How to Let Sacramento Know You Oppose 4 A.M. Bar Closing Times

A red phone to make a call RIGHT NOWWWWOne of the worst side effects of bad policy isn't just the harm it inflicts on the community. It's the feeling of powerlessness to change things. This is not one of those times.

As SB 384, the bill that would recklessly extend bar closing times to 4 a.m., makes its way through the Senate, Alcohol Justice and the California Alcohol Policy Alliance teamed up to organize an All-State Call-In. Held Wednesday, March 22, the event brought together supporters and advocates for community health to call the California state senators who will be voting on this bill. Now, the organizations turn to the public and urge them to make their voices heard as well.

There are many arguments that need to be made. For starters, extending bar opening hours would increase hazardous driving, assaults and injuries, and place substantial stress on already taxed emergency services. Although proponents say it will increase tax revenue, not a penny is reserved to fund medics or police. Even if it were, the contribution would pale in comparison to the over $38 billion alcohol drains out of California's economy—a cost that will surely rise with the later closing times.

Indeed, it seems the real beneficiaries will be entertainment lobbies and Big Alcohol. Time and time again, we’ve seen corporate interests circumvent locally enforced regulations. In the past, it's been liquor license caps and moratoriums; alcohol sellers have found numerous loopholes or plead for special consideration to the point where those regulations are, in the words of Mission Local, "Potent as a weak drink." there’s no reason to believe that residents of the areas affected by late last calls will be any better able to push back against slick lobbies. Meanwhile, even localities that keep a 2 a.m. (or earlier) time will find more road hazards as drinkers commute to and from later-call locales.

It's time the arguments were heard by those responsible for safeguarding—or undermining—the state. On Tuesday, March 28th, the CA Senate Governmental Organization (GO) Committee will hold a hearing on SB 384. Now is the time to call in and let them know this bill is harmful, needless, and part of an upsetting trend of kowtowing to industry.

Below, find a list of Senate GO Committee members and their phone numbers. If you need inspiration, a short script is below. Go down the list and ask to speak to a policy staff person about SB 384. It will take 10 minutes to run down the list—but stopping this bill can protect a generation.

Senate GO Committee Member phone numbers
Chairman Steven Glazer (916) 651-4007
Tom Berryhill (916) 651-4008
Steven Bradford (916) 651-4035
Anthony Cannella (916) 651-4012
Bill Dodd (916) 651-4003
Ted Gaines (916) 651-4001
Kathleen Gagliani (916) 651-4005
Jerry Hill (916) 651-4013
Ben Hueso (916) 651-4040
Ricardo Lara (916) 651-4033
Tony Mendoza (916) 651-4032
Anthony Portantino (916) 651-4025
Andy Vidak (916) 651-4014


Script to Oppose SB 384

"Hello, my name is [-----NAME-----]. I'm from [-----CITY OR TOWN------], and I urge the senator to oppose SB 384 as it reaches the Senate GO Committee next Tuesday. I oppose SB 384 because it threatens the wellbeing of my neighborhood. Extending alcohol sales hours to 4 a.m. will only benefit bar and restaurant owners, leaving taxpayers the bill for the increased public health and safety risk. This is a critical issue for our state. Thank you for your time."

Alcohol Justice and CAPA sincerely thank everyone who takes the time to be involved. California, for all its differences, is one state, and should stand as one for the health and safety of its citizens.