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Philly Greens Call Curfew, "new Jim Crow"

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The Green Party of Philadelphia opposes City Council's attempt to criminalize our youth. The recent City Council effort to pass a curfew on young people is just another attempt by Democrats to bolster the school-to-prison pipeline. Thos curfew will be not only unconstitutional, but also unworkable.


City Council considered the new curfew legislation, Bill 110633, on October 20. This bill was introduced by Democratic Councilpersons Blondell Reynolds-Brown, Donna Reed Miller and Bill Green at the request of Democratic Mayor Michael Nutter.

"We have a situation in which the Democratic Party establishment fails to educate Philadelphia's young people and then fails to offer them jobs," explained Hugh Giordano, at-large member of the Green Party City Committee. "The prison system provides them with a useful way to warehouse these young souls. Thus, the school-to-prison pipeline becomes a key aspect of this New Jim Crow Era."

"The proposed curfew bill is a futile attempt to legitimize Nutter's limited but unconstitutional curfew dating from August 2011," said Chris Robinson, an at-large member of the Green's City Committee. "The new curfew legislation, along with Nutter's stop-and-frisk policy, will play an important role in the New Jim Crow Era. They have been and will be used disproportionately by the Philadelphia Police in black neighborhoods to control working-class and unemployed youth."

Social Ecologist Mike Males recently wrote, " Amid the oft-repeated notion that everyone benefits when young people are off the streets, the larger reality is that streets are safer when more teens are present. Studies in city after city consistently find curfews don't work. The Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice's examination of hundreds of nighttime curfew citations showed why: In only one or two cases did police report criminal behavior or intent. The youths cited for curfew violations were simply playing basketball, emerging from movies or restaurants, talking with friends - in short, doing nothing wrong."

"Curfews waste police time by removing law-abiding young people from public areas where their presence actually makes the streets safer," continued Males. "Dynamic, cosmopolitan cities don't legislate racism, sexism, homophobia or other bigotries. Indulging in anti-youth prejudice, which has no more basis in fact, is equally reprehensible."

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The Green Party of Philadelphia opposes the new curfew legislation and looks forward to participating in a legal challenge should it pass City Council. For more information about the Green Party, please contact 215-243-7103 and Email address removed.

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Chris Robinson is a graduate of Central High School (#219) in Philadelphia, PA. He lives in Germantown and has been an at-large member of the Green Party of Philadelphia ( City Committee since 2011. Chris Robinson is also a member (more...)

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