ANC6B Asks City to Rescind Extra Days/Hours for Alcohol Sales During Inaugural
By Larry Janezich
Last Tuesday night, at its October meeting, ANC6B sent a letter to the Mayor and City Council asking that they rescind the decision to more than double the number of days around the presidential inaugural when alcohol could be served until 4:00am.
The DC Budget Act approved in July extended those days and hours until 4:00am for 16 days – up from 7 days during the last inaugural – from January 9 to January 24. Lawmakers reasoned the change would help business recover lost COVID-related revenue and boost revenues for the city.
Commissioner Jerry Sroufe of ANC6B suggested and authored the letter after raising concerns that the event will attract a large number of protestors – some of whom might be armed – and that expanded service could frustrate efforts at reducing the spread of COVID.
Commissioner Samolyk suggested a broader conversation taking into account the needs of the bars and restaurants before sending the letter. Chair Brian Ready said he wanted bars and restaurants to succeed, but the last thing he wanted to see is a COVID outbreak on Capitol Hill.
The current public health emergency expires on January 31, with no assurance it will be extended. Commissioner Oldenburg suggested that extension of the emergency would override the Budget Act’s relaxed alcohol serving provisions.
The letter states that the ANC understands the financial needs of the city resulting from the COVID pandemic but:
“Because of our concerns for the physical safety of District residents and our desire to protect them from virus spread, we respectfully request that District leaders rescind the provision of extra days and extra hours during the 2021 Inauguration.”
The vote to send the letter to the Mayor and City Council was 6 – 2- 1.