By Scott Peters
Absentee ballots are in the mail, so this is a particularly appropriate time to ask you to approve a permanent ban on alcohol at city beaches and coastal parks with a “Yes” vote on Proposition D. Even though alcohol has been banned for years at many of our local beaches, including the Shores and Marine Street, this initiative has the potential to affect La Jolla.
We know alcohol and sand do not mix well because we’ve seen the negative consequences on beaches in neighborhoods to our south. Finally, and partly in response to a beach brawl that attracted national attention, the City Council enacted a 12-month trial ban that began last January. With the ban in place, City beaches have been cleaner, more family-friendly, and safer.
Although La Jolla beaches are already “dry,” it is important to note that the ban that protects us is a city ordinance. If Prop D fails, the restrictions on La Jolla beaches can be reversed, at any time, by a simple majority vote of the City Council. Passage of Prop D, however, will incorporate the no-booze law into the City Charter. As such, it could only be reversed by going back on the ballot and securing another majority vote of the people.
Though I’ve strongly supported alcohol-free beaches, future District One council members may not. And even if they do, five other members of the council, voting as a block, could rescind the ordinance over your local representative’s objections. This could happen if other beach communities questioned La Jolla’s special status and pressured their council members to correct a perceived inequality.
Passing the citywide ban also benefits La Jolla because it creates more family-friendly beaches, potentially relieving pressure from our already crowded shores. Please help keep La Jolla’s beaches safe, clean and family-friendly, by voting to support Proposition D.
Scott Peters is San Diego City Councilman for the First District and Council President.