One week before Iowa City voters choose whether 19-year-olds again should be allowed in bars at night, University of Iowa Student Government leaders will decide where they – as a group – stand on the issue.
A question asking whether Iowa City’s 21-only law should be repealed is on the Nov. 5 ballot after a bar owner and manager filed a successful petition in June. Since that time, campaign groups, business owners and other community leaders have come out supporting or opposing the ordinance, and UISG officials will pick a side at their Tuesday meeting.
“The Senate will be deliberating on whether they will back the repeal or the continuation,” UISG Speaker of the Senate Saranya Subramanian said in an email. “Quite a meeting we will have.”
The 21-only ordinance, which bans people under age 21 from being in bars after 10 p.m., went into effect about three years ago and withstood a referendum in fall 2010.
Supporters of the law, including the City Council, say it’s helped reduce problem drinking downtown. Opponents – like Union Bar owner George Wittgraf and Martinis manager Josh Erceg, who led the petition to repeal the law – say younger people still go to bars but leave at 10 p.m.
They also say repealing the law would benefit downtown businesses.
UISG leaders in 2010 endorsed what would become a failed effort to repeal the 21-only law.