Red White and Food, the nonprofit organization that supports allowing wine sales in Tennessee’s retail food stores, will announce the launch of its petition campaign on Monday with a series of news conferences in Chattanooga, Kingsport, Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville.
Red White and Food board members representing a variety of retail food stores will officially kick off the effort and will discuss the petition approval process. They will be joined by select members of the Tennessee General Assembly, including those who sponsored the referendum legislation. The wine in retail food stores bill was passed by both the House and the Senate during the 2014 legislative session and signed by Gov. Bill Haslam on March 20.
Red White and Food field staff will be present at all news conference locations throughout the day to collect the signatures of registered voters who support wine sales in retail food stores.
To get the wine referendum on the Nov. 4 ballot, eligible communities – those that already allow liquor-by-the-drink, liquor stores or both – must submit petitions to the local election commission with at least as many valid signatures from registered voters as would equal 10 percent of the residents who voted in the last gubernatorial election. Registered voters may sign the petition only once. The petitions must be completed and verified by the local election commissions by Aug. 21.
Red White and Food is supported by a number of Tennessee retail food stores from across the state and the Tennessee Retail Association. The following stores plan to have petitions available for customers to sign throughout the summer: Cash Saver, Food City, Food Lion, H.G. Hill, Kroger, Publix and Superlo Foods. A schedule of signature collection opportunities will be posted to Red White and Food’s website and Facebook and Twitter accounts.
In communities where the referendum passes, retail food stores will be able to sell wine beginning July 1, 2016.
News conferences will occur as follows on Monday:
· Chattanooga – Publix: 5928 Hixson Pike, Hixson, TN 37343 at 10 a.m. EDT
· Kingsport – Food City: 1205 North Eastman Road, Kingsport, TN 37664 at 10 a.m. EDT
· Knoxville – Food City: 284 Morrell Road, Knoxville, TN 37919 at 10 a.m. EDT
· Memphis – Kroger: 3444 Plaza, Memphis, TN 38111 at 10 a.m. CDT
· Nashville – Kroger: 2131 Abbott Martin Road, Nashville, TN 37215 at 11:30 a.m. CDT