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Image by: Ash Roughani Thanks to the support of so many Marshall School/New Era Park (MSNEP) residents, the Save Sunny's Market campaign was able to deliver eleven pages of petition signatures to the offices of Assemblymember Roger Dickinson and Senator Darrell Steinberg yesterday. The 165 signatures demonstrate broad-based neighborhood support for the new operators of Sunny’s Market to acquire a beer and wine license.
If you are just hearing about this issue for the first time, Josh and Monica Patel – the new owners of Sunny’s, are at risk of closing their doors due to the negligent actions of the previous owner who violated the law several times by selling alcoholic beverages to underage decoys.
Under current law, if there are multiple violations within a specific timeframe, not only is an operator’s license revoked, but the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control must impose a one-year cooling off period on the site itself, even if there is a transfer of ownership.
Upon acquiring the business, the new owners were unaware that the actions of the previous owner would impact their ability to successfully run a small business. This unfairness led to the formation of a grassroots campaign to save Sunny’s Market.
The campaign is asking lawmakers to approve a minor change in the law that would keep the mandatory one-year cooling off period in place, but also allow this provision to be overridden if a new owner acquires the business and a majority of nearby residents sign a petition in support of the new operator’s intent to acquire a license.
Existing law does not provide a way around the mandatory one-year cooling off period, even if a responsible owner takes over the business and neighbors support the new operator possessing a license. Midtown residents in support of the campaign are asking Asm. Dickinson and Sen. Steinberg to author the necessary changes in law to shift accountability from the state down to residents at the local level. Government works best when decisions can be made at a level that is closest to the people.
Because September 2 is the last day bills can be amended, the campaign is urging residents to contact their lawmakers. This goal, however, is completely within reach. We just need to show how much we support exists for the Patel family.
While the MSNEP Neighborhood Association recognizes that existing law was enacted to protect residents in a neighborhood where bad actors willfully violate the spirit and intent of the law, we also believe that it should not be so unduly burdensome that it restricts the ability of good stewards like Josh and Monica to successfully run a small business through the responsible sale of alcohol - particularly when there is demonstrated public support.
What You Can Do
2. Contact our local legislators and tell them you support Sunny's Market:
Assemblymember Roger Dickinson
(916) 319-2009 // email@example.com
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg
(916) 651-4006 // firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Stop by Sunny's and make a small purchase so that they can get throught this rough period.
Also, don't forget to "like" the campaign on Facebook: