Ayanna: Don’t bottle up liquor licenses - Ayanna Pressley

Ayanna: Don’t bottle up liquor licenses

Commonwealth Magazine ran Ayanna's op-ed on reforming Boston's antiquated liquor licensing system:

Don’t bottle up liquor licenses

By Ayanna Pressley
Jan. 29, 2013

THERE IS A RENAISSANCE happening in Boston. Take a look at the activity in the Seaport District — restaurants, cultural events, start-ups and new visitors. Roslindale Square has become a bustling village with new restaurants and shops opening seemingly every day. In my own neighborhood of Dorchester, Tavolo Restaurant and Ashmont Grill have become community anchors for residents and travelers arriving by train, bus, and car. But what about Roxbury or Mattapan?

While burgeoning restaurant scenes lead to jobs and economic growth in some neighborhoods, others are left behind. There are no doubt a number of reasons for this, but a big one – and one that we in government can do something about – is the way we control and distribute liquor licenses in Boston. In 2011, Governor Patrick took a step in the right direction by proposing legislation that would give authority over appointments to the Boston Liquor Licensing Board back to the city’s mayor. And we should renew a push for this legislation this session.

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