Last week, more than 300 people descended upon the Arizona State Capitol to protest Governor Doug Ducey's executive order that has closed businesses carrying series 6 or series 7 liquor licenses — bars, basically.
Today — Tuesday — the Arizona bar industry is ready for round two.
The second Not Our Last Call Rally will include a march from the Capitol to the Arizona Department of Health Services, which is less than a quarter mile away.
“The time is now to show the Governor and AZDHS we are united," reads the details of the Facebook event. "Bartenders, owners, patrons, and friends come out and march with us.”
Steve Atwood, one of the half-dozen organizers and normally a bartender at The Other Room in Glendale, says the organizing group, members of which operate the AZ Bartenders Back-2-Work Facebook page, wants to keep the message out there and give those in the bar industry who couldn't make it last Thursday another chance to have their voices heard.
They're also looking for some official recognition.
"We are hoping to have enough impact to be brought up at his [Ducey's] next address," Atwood says.
Chelsea Hassler is operations manager at the Scottsdale bar Coach House Tavern, which has been open for just 124 days in 2020.
“It is important for the Governor and the public to see that it’s not just a small amount of businesses and people that are affected by the shutdown,” Hassler says.
She points out that there are 1,291 active series 6 liquor licenses and 840 active series 7 licenses in Arizona, according to the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control website. That’s 2,131 businesses that are shut down.
And how many people do those 2,131 businesses employ? Hassler wonders.
“We aren’t part-time college kids working a summer job. For many of us, this is our career. This is how we support our children and feed our families,” Hassler says. “Just because our industry is based around alcohol doesn’t make our jobs less important.”
Atwood says no rallies after Tuesday's are currently planned. The group will decide what to do following expected news from the the Arizona Supreme Court regarding its current petition and lawsuit.
The events get going at 9:30 a.m., according to the Facebook event.
"We will be meeting at the Park at 9:30am, and leaving the park at 10am! We will march to the Capitol, rally there for about 30 minutes, then march to the AZDHS building. We will rally at AZDHS for 30-45 minutes, back to the Capitol for about 30 minutes, we will wrap up this Rally about 11:30 at the park!"
Masks, water, green outfits, and fun signs are again encouraged. And there will be new chants.
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