Policy Initiatives

P-CASA has been instrumental in using its research to inform policies that directly impact Paterson residents. By transforming its research findings into meaningful data points, P-CASA helps Paterson’s leaders understand key issues and then find solutions that reduce youth access to alcohol, tobacco, and drugs.


Recently, P-CASA’s local level data and GIS mapping illustrated the link between alcohol and violence in Paterson. As a result, P-CASA was able to help the community understand the issue, communicate the key points, and then mobilize the community to pass the following ordinances:

Ordinance: Reducing Alcoholic Beverage Hours of Sale

Alcohol Ordinance Flyers

Alcohol Ordinance Presentation

Alcohol Ordinance

Outlines of Legal Arguments:

Oakland, CA

The inability to regulate grandfathered retail establishments prompted the City of Oakland to enact the first “deemed approved” ordinance (DAO) in 1993. The ordinance exercises authority over these establishments by issuing “deemed approved” permits and establishing “public nuisance standards” that pre-existing retailers must abide by in order to maintain their permit. The standards are monitored by the city through an enforcement and education program which is paid for by a fee on the deemed approved outlets.

Oakland alcohol retailers challenged the ordinance in court on two grounds: (1) The ordinance constituted regulation of the sale of alcohol and was therefore preempted by the State Constitution; and (2) The fee was in fact a tax, also prohibited under State law.

Case dismissed

NLC Report On Liquor Stores

"Oakland Shows The Way"

Ventura County Best Practices

El Cajon, CA The ordinance increases regulations and performance standards such as no single-sale beer bottles and liquor in barrels of ice near the front door of retailers, setting hours for the sale of alcohol and not allowing people to stand in the front of a store and harass people. It is aimed at reducing public drunkenness, curbing sales to people who are already inebriating, stopping loitering and halting sales to minors.

Constitutionality of an alcohol sales regulation

Case was dismissed in court. Communities Against Substance Abuse presented findings on how alcohol related arrests/crime is associated with access

El Cajon Liquor Ordinance Article

Counter Arguments

Possible counter argument against liquor store owners

Using Land Use regulations as a public health tool in Paterson

Land use/Zoning Arguments



Ordinance: Private Property

Private Property Explanation

Private Property Ordinance

Ordinance: Paterson Beverage Education Seminar (PABES)

PABES is a program that provides alcohol sellers in the city of Paterson with the necessary information and skills to reduce the incidences of alcohol related incidents and underage drinking. The goal of this program is to become knowledgeable of the local ordinances and laws regarding alcohol related policies. Engaging in this seminar will help to increase compliance of local laws and decrease incidences of alcohol related incidents.

PABES Ordinance

Ordinance: Tobacco

P-CASA also used its local level data to expose the high number of Paterson establishments where youth under the age of 18 could buy tobacco products. The findings also showed the detrimental health effects of tobacco use on adolescents. With additional support from the Municipal Alliance Prevention Program (MAPP), policy makers and community members, the age limit for purchasing tobacco in Paterson was raised to 21 years of age in 2015. As of November 1, 2017, New Jersey raised the age limit of tobacco sales from 19 years old to 21 years old statewide.

Tobacco Ordinance