When leaders from Austin Interfaith’s Southside Cluster Wildflower Church, Kurt Cadena-Mitchell and Edie Clark, learned that Speedy Stop had applied for a variance to sell alcohol at the Exxon Station directly across the street from Travis High School, and next door to Wildflower, they quickly began organizing to oppose the variance, forming a coalition that included Wildflower Church, Travis Heights Elementary, Faith Presbyterian Church, Faith Child Development Center, South River City Citizens, and Texans Standing Tall.
The coalition developed a strategy to block sales that included research, meetings with decisionmakers and preparing to testify at Council. In meetings with Council members and an AISD Trustee, they were able to provide them with accurate information about the issue. In the end, the attorney for Speedy Stop withdrew the application for the alcohol variance, citing community opposition. Leaders heard from Council members that unless there is organized opposition, these types of variances are often approved. Southside leaders shared their winning strategy with a Northeast coalition of neighborhood associations organized by Austin Interfaith leader Oralia Garza to aid them in successfully defeating a similar alcohol variance across from Reagan High School.
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