Your Views: Economic development in Janesville at what cost?

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Saturday, January 25, 2014

As the mother of a 10-year-old and a 13-year-old, I would like to express my disapproval of Ryan Garcia’s proposal to allow retailers to sell alcohol right alongside the candy, soda and other items. I really appreciate that, in Janesville, I can take my children shopping for food or clothing without them being bombarded with alcohol advertising.

Permitting alcohol sales along with other sales will place alcohol advertising where children and teens will be influenced by it, thereby increasing underage drinking. Research shows that when young people are exposed to lots of alcohol ads, they drink more alcohol. Advertising is effective, even when youth are not the intended audience.

Janesville should be proud of how we protect our youth with current ordinances. In addition to limiting advertisement exposure, separation of sales makes it more difficult for youth to shoplift alcohol and easier for retailers to prevent underage alcohol sales. Youth report getting alcohol from Janesville’s retail establishments at a lower rate than in other Rock County communities, and rates of underage drinking are also lower in Janesville.

This ordinance is working to protect our youth from the harms of underage drinking! Shouldn’t we be pursuing economic development that does not cost us the safety and well-being of our youth?



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