Last month, Borderstan posted an article on a potential Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) license moratorium in the 14th and U Street / MidCity neighborhoods.Â The article highlighted an online petition, started by Bryan Martin Firvida to oppose a moratorium, which would make it more difficult, or impossible, for new businesses to obtain liquor licenses.
More than 660 supporters have signed the petition since its inception. According to Martin Firvida, 66% of the petitionâ€™s signatories live in the zip code impacted by the proposed restrictions (20009), and 82% of supporters live in 20009 and surrounding zip codes. In total, 93% of all signatories live in DC.
â€śAn ABC License moratorium is an ineffective way to deal with the many quality of life issues that exist in the neighborhood and unfairly places the burden and responsibility of the many issues of our vibrant neighborhood only on our local businesses that happen to hold alcohol licenses,â€ť states Martin Firvidaâ€™s petition. â€śNo one is saying that serving alcohol doesn’t create issues, however blaming alcohol for all of the issues of a neighborhood and targeting only alcohol is short sighted and ineffective.â€ť
Martin Firvida explained to Borderstan that he started the petition as a way for neighbors to proactively express support for our neighborhood and for taking a comprehensive approach to managing the many quality of life issues that face any dynamic neighborhood in the District, something that a moratorium simply does not do.
Martin Firvida is a past president of the U Street Neighborhood Association (USNA), elected president four times, 2002 to 2004 and again in 2010. He also served as chair of USNA’s Business Development and ABC Committee and served on the USNA Board of Directors.Â Martin Firvida also spent fourÂ years as a Special Assistant in the Executive Office of the Mayor and the Office of the City Administrator working on neighborhood issues.