Boston City Councillor Ayanna Pressley Wins Liquor License Victory

Once again, I’m glad we didn’t listen.

For more than 100 years, the State’s liquor license laws have been standing in the way of Boston’s economic progress. The system is broken and many said it couldn’t be fixed; we shouldn’t even try. But in the best interest of our neighborhoods, I knew it was a fight worth taking on. We can’t have healthy communities without thriving main streets, and restaurants are critical economic anchors.

Do you know what happened a week ago today?

In the final hours of the legislative session, a version of my original home rule petition – to reform these antiquated liquor license laws – was passed by the State Legislature. You can read about it by clicking here.

Do you know what this means for Boston?

For the last three years, I have advocated for two things and we accomplished both:

  1. Return of control of the Licensing Board to the City of Boston.
  2. Equity in access to licenses in neighborhoods beyond the downtown corridor, particularly in the most disenfranchised neighborhoods. Over the next three years, 75 new licenses will be available to Boston and 60 of them will be restricted to the neighborhoods of Dorchester, East Boston, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, Mission Hill, and Roxbury, as well as BRA-designated Main Street districts. The other 15 licenses can be granted city-wide.

Are you or do you know a restaurateur or aspiring entrepreneur?

The first round of licenses will become available September 1, 2014. If you would like to apply for one of the new licenses, visit the City of Boston Licensing Board website by clicking here. Please don’t hesitate to contact my office at 617-635-4217 if you have any questions.

This is a victory! Restaurants are transformative tools in building community and wealth. With the passage of this legislation, there will now be an equity in opportunity for every neighborhood to thrive.

All the best,

P.S. Please share the good news!

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