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Revitalizing Roseland: Chicago Church Takes on Liquor Industry (From Case Histories in Alcohol Policy, P 75-97, 2000, Joel Streicker, ed. -- See NCJ-193674)

NCJ Number
Alysia Tate
Date Published
October 2000
23 pages
This chapter presents the story of Roseland's Salem Baptist Church in Chicago, Illinois and their successful mission in continuing an old 1907 law prohibiting the sale of alcohol within a voting precinct.
In 1907, a law was passed in Chicago, Illinois allowing voters to prohibit the sale of alcohol in a voting district. However, the law saw little use until the mid-1990's. In the 1990's, community groups became familiarized with the law’s ability to address alcohol-related problems. From 1996 to 1999, there was a movement to vote “dry” certain precincts to reduce crime and promote economic development in mostly low-income Black neighborhoods. These neighborhoods were seen as having suffered economic decline. With many businesses having been eroded from the community, alcohol outlets were seen as filling the gaps. In Roseland, the Salem Baptist Church organized a successful vote-dry initiative which shut down 29 liquor outlets in four precincts. In addition, the church helped build a large Christian bookstore and coffee house with plans to purchase a strip mall. The campaign waged by the Roseland community church and neighborhood had encouraged more community participation when it came to solving other problems, such as abandoned buildings, drugs, and prostitution.