If nothing else, the debate over the daytime curfew sure did get more than a few kiddos active in city politics. The Dallas City Council just got through hearing from a parade of folks opposed to the 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. curfew, about which Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle told Unfair Park, "I think it could be helpful for those parents who are trying to do everything they can do get their kids to school -- to have some more leverage over their children about why they should be at school because they can get a citation for not having gone." Sprinkled among the grown-ups who said they didn't see the point of the ordinance were plenty of wee ones who stepped up to the podium and simply asked the council to vote no. Among them was one Victor Garcia, who you see here getting a microphone assist from our old pal Chief Ozumba Lnuk-X.
The council is now discussing the ordinance. Said Carolyn Davis, "This is not going to solve the issue" of crime committed by the under-17 set. Far as she's concerned, the Dallas Independent School District has to get involved before the council and DPD does. "At the end of the year, if we have 4,000 kids we've picked up, what are we going to do about that?" She told the mayor she's voting against the ordinance, to a round of applause from the gallery.
A vote will come down shortly.
Update at 2:33 p.m.: Sheffie Kadane is speaking at the moment and has suggested he too will vote against the ordinance: "I don't believe the curfew will help [kids] get back in school." No, wait ... Yup. He's against it too.
Update at 2:37 p.m.: Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway's for the curfew, because "to do nothing is to turn our back on a problem."
Update at 2:52 p.m.: Tennell Atkins says it's an essentially toothless ordinance -- because, he asked, who's going to pay the $500 fine when a kid gets popped and doesn't have any money? And, he reminds, only the DISD, not the city, can impose community service as a punishment when there's no money to pay the fine, either in the kids or parents' pockets.
Update at 3:04: Mitchell Rasansky says he hasn't heard from a lot of folks for or against the ordinance. Besides, he says, as a former DISD student himself, "I played a lot of hooky, and I wish this would have been enacted back then. I would have been a better student." He's for it. So too is Dave Neumann, who spoke before Rasansky. Says Rasansky, this "is not an intrusion on your rights," but a necessary crime deterrent.
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