The grassroots campaign, Be A Jerk, launches in Honolulu, Hawai‘i encouraging all adults to take a stand against underage drinking by not giving, buying, selling or allowing minors to drink alcohol.
Honolulu, HI, (April 14, 2011) - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, PLEASE
Honolulu (April 14, 2011) — Concerned individuals and community groups throughout O‘ahu, in conjunction with the City & County of Honolulu, are asking others to "Be a Jerk" beginning this April, which is Alcohol Awareness Month. It's all part of a new grassroots campaign, titled Be A Jerk that calls for members of the community to stand up and say, "If it takes a jerk to keep alcohol away from kids, then I'm proud to be one."
By uniting individuals, organizations and businesses, Be a Jerk is helping community members build a safer Honolulu with policies, best practices and attitudes that support young people in remaining alcohol-free. While they know no one wants to be a jerk, there are times when a problem calls for it, such as underage drinking.
"We are proud to support those who choose to Be A Jerk," said Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle. "A few things jerks don't do:
Give alcohol to minors
Buy alcohol for minors
Sell alcohol to minors
Allow minors to drink alcohol in our homes … or anywhere."
In its inaugural month, Be A Jerk is supporting a number of community projects ranging from parents pledging to ensure kids don't have access to alcohol in their homes to community and parent workshops to alcohol-free celebrations to photo and video documentaries to "store makeovers" where participating merchants reposition alcohol merchandise and advertising to areas less prominent to youth. Each of these projects is designed to:
Help people realize it's not okay for kids to drink
Make it harder for kids to get alcohol
Help reduce alcohol advertising that targets kids
Help create laws and policies that keep alcohol away from kids.
In addition, the campaign is launching the website BeAJerk.org, where interested community members can find ideas on how to help in their own communities, strategies for keeping kids alcohol-free, downloadable materials, and other resources to support them in being jerks.
"Often, people think that underage drinking is a youth problem," Mayor Carlisle said. "But, when you think about it, underage drinking affects everyone and is all of our responsibility. Whether it's the hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage and medical fees it costs Hawai‘i taxpayers each year or the ultimate costs of injury and death, isn't it time to change how we think about underage drinking and take action?
"We invite everyone to join us by signing up on the website, taking the first steps to support their own neighborhoods, and sharing their stories to inspire others.
"Sometimes it takes a jerk."
Be A Jerk is a funded by a grant from the State of Hawai‘i, Department of Health and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – Center for Substance Abuse Prevention: Strategic Prevention Framework-State Incentive.
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Mei Jeanne Wagner