Sunday, March 18, 2007

NIMBYism or good citizenship

Next to my block of flats, there is a convenience store that sells alcohol to homeless folks. They then take their bottles down a local alley and drink, urinate and pass out. This behaviour has made that alley a no-go zone for me and Mrs. Expat Teacher.

This is an endemic problem in my neighborhood and the City Council is thinking about banning sales of single beers along a nearby stretch of H-street to deal with the problem. However, it doesn't appear the ban would cover us (we are two blocks south). The DCist has some good coverage and a lively debate in the comments on the issue.

My question is whether I should approach the shopkeeper about what happens with the beers he sells to the homeless folks. I would like him to voluntarily stop selling beer to those folks. I'm certainly no teetotaler, but I don't like public drunkenness and public urination.

The store owner could blow me off, but if the store stops selling beers to these homeless folks, it should increase the quality of life in my area because the drunks will have to go elsewhere for their beers.

So, would my actions be NIMBYism or good citizenship? Thoughts? Should I do this?