Hello, my friends.
I'm asking you to vote today, and I am asking you to vote AGAINST the
ballot initiative for a complete smoking ban in Austin.
A couple quick figures:
OUR CURRENT SMOKING ORDINANCE MANDATES:
• Of 46,000 businesses in Austin, over 99% are smoke free.
• No smoking is allowed anywhere children under 18 are present.
• Over 2000 restaurants are smoke free. Only 6 allow smoking.
• Over 400 bars are smoke free. Only 200 allow smoking.
• Only 211 businesses and their employees have chosen to allow
smoking in Austin.
Shouldn’t people be allowed to choose?
I'd love to say that I am asking you to do this for strong philosophic
reasons, such as there has never been a scientific study proving that
second-hand smoke has harmed anybody. Or the fact that some
well-heeled bullies with stacks of money from out of state want to come
in and fuck with Austin's organically-grown independent businesses. I
care about these issues deeply, but when it comes to brass tacks, I
care most about the fate of Lovejoys and its 15 employees.
I opened Lovejoys in 1994 under a certain set of rules and parameters.
At that time, Sixth Street was home to dozens of live music venues,
dance clubs, a few restaurants and retail shops. I did something a
little different. I opened a place where conversation and camaraderie
would be king. No food, no live music, just socializing over a few
beers. And cigarettes, if you so choose. People responded, and almost
12 years later we're still here. Many others have followed my lead and
opened similar places.
If the smoking ban that is on the ballot passes Lovejoys will certainly
suffer. Lovejoys has no patio, and under TABC law and Austin
ordinance, it is illegal to walk outside with a drink. Many of my
customers are loyal and will put up with certain inconveniences to
remain faithful. Many others will go to the bar with a patio or deck
where they can drink and smoke conveniently.
I have fifteen employees, all hard-working adults. None of these
people are "college kids working for beer money", as the stereotype
goes. Some of them have families, some own homes in our community; all
are good people. If my business drops by the 25 - 35% I'm told to
prepare for by colleagues in California, then 3 - 8 of these folks
will lose their jobs. If my business drops 40 - 50%, then we're all
Our current system works. Let's keep it.
For more information and lots of science, please visit
Do what you need to do.