Industry News: OR: Portland: Oregon Brewers Guild and others form "Oregonians against the Takeover" to fight change in Oregon's liquor sales

Press Release

Portland, Ore. – A growing coalition of labor, Oregon-based industry groups and craft brewers, distillers and winemakers announced today a campaign to fight a corporate grocer-backed ballot initiative to take over Oregon’s liquor market. The coalition known as Oregonians against the Takeover launched a website, keepliquorlocal.com, to educate voters and recruit additional citizens and local businesses to help defeat a liquor privatization measure on the November 2016 ballot.

"The current system works because local consumers, not far away corporate grocery executives, decide what products stay on the shelf. Under the proposed plan, local choices and selection will lose out to national brands and private label brands,” said Ron Dodge, CEO of Oregon’s Hood River Distillers and Clear Creek Distillery.

The coalition also released polling results that confirm voters still believe privatization is a solution in search of a problem. Polls in March 2014 and November 2015 show 64 percent of Oregon voters believe the state’s current system for liquor sales works just fine and that we shouldn’t fix something that’s not broken.

Agree/Disagree: Oregon’s current system for liquor sales works just fine.  We don’t need to fix something that’s not broken. 
image courtesy Oregonians against the Takeover
Both polls interviewed 500 likely voters in Oregon and have margins of error of +/- 4.38%.

The grocer’s proposal would eliminate more than $200 million a year in liquor sales revenues that fund vital state and local services. It would also increase the number of liquor retail outlets in Oregon by more than 4,000 percent – from 265 to more than 12,000.

“This isn’t good for anyone, except the national grocery chains,” said Ryan Frank, coalition spokesperson. “The corporate grocers are looking to line their pockets at the expense of Oregon schools and other vital services, while making it dangerously easy for children to get hard liquor.”

Oregonians against the Takeover includes the Oregon Brewers Guild, Oregon Winegrowers Association, Oregon Distillers Guild, Oregon Beer & Wine Distributors Association, AFSCME Council 75, Associated Liquor Stores of Oregon, East Bend Liquor, Hood River Distillers, among many others.
image courtesy Oregonians against the Takeover

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