Tribune-Courier News Editor
BENTON – Responding to local efforts to bring the legal sale of alcohol to Marshall County, an opposition group has formed. Say No Now held an organizational meeting Thursday night at the Marshall County Courthouse. One of the group’s organizers– pastor Chris Moore– said the group’s sole purpose was the opposition of the legalization of alcohol sales.
“We began calling the group Priority MC Families, but with several priorities we felt there was a need to make it a little more direct,” Moore said. “So what we have been calling ourself since yesterday is Say No Now. It’s a little more direct, a little more focused on the issue.”
Moore said the group’s forming was in response to the recent announcement that Marshall 1st was attempting to gain 2,100 signatures to place a local option election on the ballot. Marshall 1st is seeking the county-wide repeal of prohibition.
“Our purpose is to form a coalition throughout Marshall County to stand in opposition of those sales,” Moore said. “We realize that folks do partake of alcohol. We realize that is a personal choice. We are not saying we want to take that personal choice away, but we are focused on the expansion and sale of alcohol in our community.”
Say No Now outlined three areas it plans to address with voters in the coming months:
- informing citizens of the undesired consequences of expanding alcohol sales.
- presenting facts and statistics to allow voters to make informed decisions.
- persuading citizens not to sign a petition for a local option election pertaining to alcohol sales.
- if the petition is successful, Say No Now hopes to persuade voters to vote no to the initiative.
Moore said Say No Now would be composed of a broad group of interests, from people who drink to those who are strictly opposed. He also asked members participating due to religious beliefs to be cognizant of what Scriptures they are referring to. But most importantly, Moore said, anyone opposed to legalized alcohol sales should act with respect.
“If we are going to be effective, all opposition efforts must be conducted respectfully,” Moore said. “That’s what we come to at the end of the day, we live in the same community. We work together. We worship together. Let’s remember that in all venues we are in, to be respectful.”
Moore urged members to “stick to the facts and act in a Christian manner” when meeting with voters or members of Marshall 1st.
Say No Now will meet again April 10 at 6:30 p.m. at the courthouse.