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Release: Immediate

Stepping Up Project plans April 27 town meeting

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Stepping Up Project, a community/campus coalition to curb binge drinking and its second-hand effects, is planning a town meeting to share information about its activities and solicit community input and support for those activities. The public is invited to attend the meeting Monday, April 27 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at West High School.

The first hour of the town meeting will be held in the West High Little Theater and will feature a short update on the Stepping Up Project, a preliminary report on a community survey of perceptions and attitudes toward binge drinking as well as support for specific policies to combat the problem, and an extended period of time for members of the public to ask questions or provide their own comments about the issue.

The open forum section of the meeting will feature panelists who can respond to questions and comments from the audience. Members of the panel will be Mary Sue Coleman, UI president; Dale Helling, assistant city manager for Iowa City; Allison Miller, former UI Student Government president; Art Schut, director of MECCA (the Mid Eastern Council on Chemical Abuse), Jim Clayton of the Iowa City Downtown Association, and Jodie Theobald of the Iowa City Schools Districtwide Parents' Organization.

During the second hour, participants will be invited to attend one of four separate discussion groups to explore issues in greater depth. The general topics for discussion will be enforcement of alcohol-related laws, accessibility and availability of alcohol, social alternatives to alcohol-related events, and outreach - what should be done to keep the community informed of the issues.

High school students will serve as greeters for the event and will offer participants an opportunity to sign up to receive the Stepping Up Project community newsletter and to review and sign pledge cards that explain the coalition's mission and goals.

In addition, West High's 1440 Leadership Group will be collecting food items to donate to the Iowa City Crisis Center. Items can be dropped off in a box at the entrance to the meeting.