Monday, June 08, 2015

PRIDE: Booze Checkpoints "More Optics Than Enforcement"

Alcohol was sold openly along the route last year
despite warnings of a booze crackdown.
As neighborhood politicians and business reps told a CAPS meeting about their plans to contain the 2015 Pride Parade’s impact on our neighborhood last Tuesday, they insisted that a crackdown on public drinking would be a top priority.

A big part of the effort to reduce drunken behavior along the route, the CAPS audience was told, would be the establishment of checkpoints, presumably to ensure that booze is not brought to the party.

But enforcement is apparently not the intention.

According to Northalsted Business Alliance Executive Director Christopher Barrett Politan, the checkpoints are intended to be “more of an optics issue than an enforcement issue.”

Sooooo, the checkpoints are showbiz to make it look like something is being done to rein in the parade?

It makes perfect sense. Just as crime is all public “perception,” we can already see the headlines being written for the day after this year’s Pride Parade.

Everything was great! Much better! Look at all of these photos of people having their bags checked! Great optics!

So, here’s how “improving” the 2015 parade has come to be:
• Despite public assurances by politicians that the parade might be moved this year, the 2015 parade permit—identical to the 2014 application—was filed more than six months ago.
• The local alderman collected an unnamed group of “stakeholders” to craft supposed improvements behind closed doors. 
• “Stakeholders” will also determine if things are better this year.
• There has been no public explanation of how the success of this year’s parade will be measured. If the checkpoints are merely for “optics,” we’re guessing the changes have already been declared a success.