Subtracting Ads: YFJ, SRADC Push for Lasting Local Liquor Store Reform

two children hold up a sign reading "toca tu vocina" in protest of bad alcohol retail practicesDespite Marin County's reputation for healthy living, underage drinking poses a major problem for the City of San Rafael. According the California Healthy Kids Survey, 47% of high school seniors report drinking alcohol, 22% percent repeatedly binge drinking, and nearly 1 in 5 having either driven while drunk or been in a car with a drunk driver.

The Youth Action for Safe Stores campaign led by Youth for Justice and the San Rafael Alcohol and Drug Coalition seeks to address the underage drinking problem by changing the alcohol retail environment in San Rafael. Dangerous behaviors include excessive store-front advertisements and beverages with high sugar and alcohol content referred to as “Alcopops.” Ending the harmful behavior of dangerous alcohol retailing will ensure local stores do not promote underage drinking.

As part of the Youth Action for Safe Stores, Youth For Justice has engaged with local San Rafael City Council members to advocate for the importance of alcohol retail accountability. In the coming weeks and months, they will engage the Marin County Board of Supervisors to build support for clear policy changes that reduce the amount of advertisements on storefronts. By advocating for policy change to address these behaviors and organizing community-led education, we move steadily towards a retail environment that is protective for youth in the city, and creates a model for the county, maybe even the state, to follow.

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READ MORE about the Youth Action for Safe Stores and the fight for a healthy San Rafael.