People gather to protest East Albany liquor license
ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - A new liquor store could come to East Albany, an addition that has sparked protests.
The application for a liquor license led to dozens coming out and voicing their opinion about why they don’t need another liquor store in the area.
Ward 1 City Commissioner Jon Howard, among other leaders, gathered at 1513 Clark Avenue Thursday to protest a potential liquor license for an Albany business.
Pastor Lorenzo Heard lives near the location that the store would be and said they don’t need another one because there are four within just a few miles of that location.
“One of the reasons the poor and disinvested, marginalized communities don’t do well standing on our feet is for too long we’ve allowed people to keep our community inebriated,” said Heard.
Commissioner Howard said they want economic growth, but he said they want things like grocery stores, restaurants and other businesses that promote positive development.
However, Jaymin Patel, the one overseeing the liquor license, said he doesn’t agree with how the liquor store is being portrayed. He said right across the street, they’re developing exactly what the community is asking for.
“We combined 10 businesses on the other side. A café, restaurant, grocery store, barbershop, postal service boutique, ice cream, bakery. We’re trying to push for a gym and apartments. These are things we hope will save people time,” said Patel.
Ward 6 City Commissioner Demetrius Young said just two years ago, this happened in South Albany and now, they’re trying to do it again. He said the mindset has to change around what type of businesses should be allowed into communities.
“The mindset it is that’s what y’all going to do anyway. It’s just supply and demand, but I don’t know anyone over here begging for a liquor store. I know we’re begging for a grocery store,” said Young.
Young also said they shouldn’t have to protest to get the right things done.
Elijah Williams lives in the area and owns a business. He said this is bigger than just Ward 2, saying it takes four votes for the business to get a liquor license.
“We got family that lives in other wards beside Ward 2. We need to contact them to let them let their commissioner know it’s not just Ward 2, we’re concerned about but the whole city of Albany,” said Williams.
This issue will go before the commission on Oct. 26 at 6 p.m.
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