Swamplot Sponsor: Keep the Heights Dry

Keep Heights Dry Poster

Swamplot today is sponsored by Keep the Heights Dry, a political action committee that opposes City of Houston Proposition No. 1.

If you live in or near the Houston Heights, you’ve probably heard about City of Houston Proposition No. 1 on the ballot this November (or already, for early voters). If it passes, Proposition 1 would allow the legal sale of beer and wine for off-premise consumption only in an area where it’s currently not allowed — the “dry Heights.” Proposition 1 will only appear on the ballots of voters who live within the former boundaries of the City of Houston Heights.

Keep the Heights Dry — or Keep the Heights Weird and Dry, as the campaign alternately refers to itself — encourages voters to vote against Proposition 1. The group’s biggest concern about the prospect of allowing the sale of beer and wine for off-premises consumption — spelled out in more detail on its website — is that it “would make it easier for large regional or national operators to come in and apply a ‘one-size-fits-all’ model that is currently anomalous in the Heights dry area.” Keep the Heights Dry claims that defeating the ballot measure will help the Heights keep its character intact.

The group notes on its website that it believes that changing a 104-year-old law so that one commercial project (a proposed H-E-B) can enter the market “is short-sighted and will have very logical consequences that will irreversibly change the character and commercial development of The Heights.” Real estate broker and local business owner Bill Baldwin, one of the organization’s backers, says “It’s not just about an H-E-B next year, it’s about a Costco that then shows up at 24th St. and Ashland or a Sam’s Club at 4th & Yale. . . . Of course we’d love an H-E-B — they’re great community partners — but there’s just no way it would end there.”

If you’d like to learn more about Proposition 1 or read more of Keep Heights Dry’s arguments opposing it, visit the Keep the Heights Dry website, where you’ll find a map that shows the boundaries of the dry Heights, some detail on the history of the area, and a thought-provoking FAQ. Whatever you decide, do make sure to vote on (or before) November 8th.

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