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Statement: “Pacific Beach, Mission Beach and Ocean Beach residents all voted overwhelmingly against the alcohol ban,” Pacific Beach resident Gordon Nall wrote in a letter published by the Union-Tribune Feb. 17.
Analysis: Three years ago, voters narrowly passed a proposition that permanently banned alcohol at all city beaches, Mission Bay Park and all other coastal parks in San Diego. It followed mounting concern that alcohol contributed to reduced public safety, especially with holiday crowds.
In his letter to the Union-Tribune, Nall argued for overturning the ban, echoing similar points used by its critics three years ago. He said the ban deters tourists from visiting San Diego’s beaches and reduces business in the beach communities.
Citing the city’s recurring financial problems, he proposed a compromise.
“At a time when San Diego can’t afford its police and firefighters, isn’t it time to discuss bringing back alcohol to portions of the beach and charge for the privilege?” he wrote. “Families could still have large swathes of alcohol-free beach.”
With the city facing an estimated $56.7 million budget shortfall next year, Nall suggested raising money through a new fee for drinking alcohol on the beach. To cast the current ban as unpopular, he said voters from Pacific Beach, Mission Beach and Ocean Beach residents roundly rejected it in 2008.
That description accurately describes the election results.
Voters from the three neighborhoods showed some of the strongest opposition to the ban, according to the precinct totals. Citywide, 52 percent of voters favored the ban. In the three neighborhoods, 60 percent opposed the ban.
The map above illustrates how the three beach communities diverged from their surrounding neighborhoods. Only voters near San Diego State University and the University of California, San Diego opposed the ban to a greater degree.
However, some of the strongest support for the ban came from Pacific Beach’s northern neighbor, La Jolla, where 64 percent of voters approved it. The ban also tended to gain more traction among voters from southern neighborhoods like San Ysidro and northern neighborhoods like Rancho Bernardo.
Regardless, Nall accurately described the election results for the three neighborhoods he mentioned, so his statement was True.
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