WE NEED YOUR HELP!
The Gainesville City Commission could move to revert to pre-covid open container policies which could lead to the end of the Streetery.
There are a number of influences driving these decisions, but it is important to point out that cause and correlation are often confused and often more convenient than sincere.
While we support the need and drive to make everyone in our community feel safe in all corners of our town, we also recognize that there is always a neutral middle that can serve everyone’s purpose and provide the Gainesville Police Department with the tools they need to successfully protect every member of our community.
We understand that any decision regarding open container and Streetery is not, and will not, be popular with everyone in our community, but that doesn’t change anything for us. We have made substantial investments into our infrastructure as well as our staff to be able to appropriately service our outdoor spaces and be a successful example of how these polices can work.
The actions of few should not dictate the privilege of many.
Many businesses, not just the ones on 1st Avenue, have grown to depend on these outdoor spaces for programming, night markets, block parties, art festivals, The Fest, PRIDE, the Gator Salsa Club and more.
We believe that we need to find the middle. There has to be an equitable solution for all that protects the spaces we have created , but also that protects all of the citizens of our community. This was not a Failed Experiment – this is a lack of execution based on a lack of policy only.
There is no one person or single entity at fault.
Our commissioners and mayor have heard how these policies could be problematic, but they also need to hear the other side of the story. They need to hear about what you think and how you feel about our outdoor street spaces, the walkability of our community and the over arching positive benefits of what we have been able to build since late 2020.
What Can You Do?
Ask them to rebuild the open container ordinance with overtly prescriptive and deliberate language to limit the consumption of alcohol in parking lots, public and private parking garages, county property, and anywhere that is truly problematic for the Gainesville Police Department. We need to rebuild this ordinance so it allows all of the businesses, space makers, programmers, and community organizations to continue to utilize the outdoor spaces we have now.
Ask them to work with the businesses of Gainesville to find the most productive and functional solution while still providing the necessary limitations needed to help curb gun violence and impromptu public gatherings late in the evening.
There is an equitable middle for everyone.
The businesses on 1st Avenue were told in September of 2020 that if we could prove the concept we would be able to continue building the Streetery and moving these ideas forward. This is all we are asking for. We have done our part and all we are asking for the what we were assured.
Please take a moment to email your commissioners and the mayor and tell them how you feel.
We won’t succeed without your help!
HELP KEEP US ON THE STREETS!