Georgia Case Study
Local Comprehensive Clean Indoor Air Ordinance in Georgia
This time line is adapted, in part, from a chronology of events assembled by Scott Hays, Project Director, Factors that Facilitate the Adoption of Municipal Ordinances for Tobacco Control. See the Deliverables section for a complete citation.
Early 1995 Two local oncologists and a local lawyer form "Better Breathers," a coalition to promote a smokefree workplace ordinance with the Albany City Commission. The coalition finds a supportive city commissioner to sponsor an ordinance.
August 1995 City commission holds public hearing on smoke-free workplace ordinance, including restaurants.
November 1995 City commission passes proposed ordinance. City attorney determines that the proposed ordinance applies only to businesses that open after the ordinance's effective date.
Early 1997 ACS hires tobacco control coordinator, who helps re-energize the dormant coalition, which reforms as the Albany Clean Indoor Air Coalition.
November 1997 Two supportive city commissioners are elected. Coalition begins meeting with key city staff, Mayor and supportive commissioners. Dougherty Board of Health passes resolution in support of enforcing the 1995 smoke-free ordinance.
January 1998 City commission passes an amendment to strengthen the 1995 ordinance, making it apply to all businesses.
March 1998 Strengthened ordinance goes into effect.
May 1998 Three restaurants are issued summons by the Municipal Court for alleged violations of the ordinance.
July 7, 1998 City commission holds work session to consider weakening the ordinance. Coalition packs the session with supporters wearing surgical masks. The commission takes no action on ordinance.
July 7- 8, 1998 ACS commissions polling firm to conduct telephone survey of registered voters.
July 14, 1998 Local paper publishes a letter to the editor from members of the Dougherty County Medical Society, in support of the ordinance.
July 15, 1998 Coalition stages an appreciation rally, inviting the mayor and city commissioners to attend. Results of the ACS poll are released at the rally.
January 18, 1999 In celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Coalition holds Smoke Freedom march and candlelight vigil in support of the ordinance.
January 19, 1999 Coalition packs commission chambers with supporters, to defend ordinance against threatened legal challenge and requests for variances from restaurant owners.
February 1999 Coalition hosts an event during Black History Month, featuring national tobacco control leaders from the African American community.
Spring 1999 Coalition works with prominent local African American surgeon to place Op Ed piece in the local paper.
March 1999 Coalition receives tip from city employee that hostile commissioner is trying to ‘sneak' the ordinance onto the agenda.
March 16, 1999 City Commission Committee votes on an amendment to the ordinance which would have allowed restaurants to designate themselves as smoking or smoke-free. This recommendation is forwarded to the whole Commission.
March 23, 1999 City commission vote 4 – 3 against proposed amendment.
Late Spring 1999 Coalition produces a 4 ½ minute PR/educational video about the ordinance, featuring a local restaurant owner.
Summer 1999 Video airs on local TV station.
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