Council to weigh curfew expansion

Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown introduced a bill on behalf of Mayor Michael Nutter’s administration Thursday that would significantly tighten curfew laws.

“What we’re doing is changing behavior,” said Nutter spokesman Mark McDonald. “I think the hope is that parents are getting the message and taking more direct control of their children.”

The bill divides minors into three age groups, reduces times and makes them uniform across the entire week and the entire city. The curfew will be extended an extra hour in the summer and is intended to be permanent.

“Since there’s never enough money for after-school programs for all students, we need to put other controls on them,” Reynolds Brown said.

The bill holds parents more accountable, increasing the violation fine and making those whose children commit criminal acts liable to the victim.

McDonald said that it could be passed in as few as two weeks, depending on how quickly Council schedules hearings. “Our wish is that they move quickly on this,” he said.

In the interim, the targeted enforcement curfew introduced by Nutter this summer will continue.

Though Councilwoman Brown said that she did not expect the bill to face much opposition, independent mayoral candidate Diop Olugbala compared the legislation to Mubarak’s rule in Egypt and likened the possible response to London’s youth riots.

“You can only push people so far before they start to push back,” said Olugbala, who noted that a protest is planned for Nov. 5. “This repression is breeding resistance and will breed increasing resistance, particularly among the youth being targeted.”

District changes a done deal

City Council voted Thursday to adopt a simpler redistricting map negotiated by Councilmen Jim Kenney and Frank DiCicco.

Councilmen Brian O’Neill and Jack Kelly were the only members to vote nay. The agreement meant a mere one-day delay in Council members’ paychecks, as their charter dictates they could not be paid until the map was finished.

The plan would condense the 7th District. It now goes to Mayor Michael Nutter’s desk for his signature.

Law of the land

The proposed legislation includes the following parameters:

Ages 13 and under: 8 p.m.; 14-15: 9 p.m.; 16 and older: 10 p.m.

Discretion will be exercised on the part of the officers when kids are traveling home from work or other legitimate business

The iPledge campaign and extended community center hours will continue, with Nutter announcing additional holistic measures in the next few weeks.

Police enforcing the new laws would mostly consist of officers on their regular beat.

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