Tuesday, December 6, 2011

county council kills teen curfew proposal

From David Moon at Maryland Juice:

After nearly six months of debate, County Executive Ike Leggett's controversial youth curfew proposal appears to have died. Today, the County Council voted 6-3 to table the proposal, and immediately voted to table an alternative loitering proposal as well . . .

There was a little bit of procedural drama prior to the votes, however. Councilmember Hans Riemer had motioned to table the curfew proposal, but Councilmember Craig Rice challenged the motion, stating that "tabling" motions are intended to be temporary. (A minority of Councilmembers wanted to simply vote on some of the amendments).

Finally! There isn't much more to say, other than to congratulate Abigail Burman and Leah Muskin-Pierret, who worked tirelessly to stop the curfew since it was first proposed in July. They've been to community meetings, spoke to Councilmembers, and became the public face of youth in Montgomery County when County Executive Leggett sought to portray teenagers as criminals-in-training - all while juggling the demands of high school. Fortunately, their efforts paid off.

Not that this solves the issue (real or perceived) of crime in downtown Silver Spring. We still have to ensure it remains a safe and desirable place to live, work, and hang out. And I deeply hope this curfew fiasco at least gets people willing to have a serious conversation about how to do so.

Thanks again, Abigail and Leah. We should be proud to have kids like them who are willing to stand up for themselves and for their community.


Greg Sanders said...

Nice work. I was glad to hear that the loitering went down as well. As you say, maintaining the status quo is a victory but only a start towards finding real solutions. That said, while I'm not living in Silver Spring at the moment, I didn't feel threatened when I was living a few blocks from downtown back through 2009 and I've quite felt safe when walking around downtown subsequently.

The incidents that sparked the concerns were real, and I would support a proportionate increase in police resources or better targeting of such resources to reduce the likelihood of such happening in the future.

In any event congratulations to Burman and Mskin-Pierret and to you Dan for all the work you've put in on this issue.

Cyndy said...

I'm glad they did the right thing in the end. It's very annoying that this was ever under consideration to begin with.