UPDATE, 1:14 P.M.: According to a Council staffer, Wells’ bill failed to get the nine votes required of emergency legislation.
Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans seemed to put the kibosh on recent efforts to tighten restrictions on kids in nightclubs when, on June 5, he motioned to table the Taleshia Ford Memorial Amendment Act of 2007.
The bill, introduced by Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham after Ford was fatally shot at Smarta/Broadway in January, would prohibit unaccompanied minors under age 18 from hanging out at alcohol-licensed establishments that provide entertainment after 11 p.m. on school nights and after 12 a.m. on weekends or during the summer. It has been sent back to committee for revisions.
Now Tommy Wells has reportedly introduced a measure changing the District’s curfew laws and enforcement that has D.C. club owners shaking in their summer sandals. (Wells’ staff was unable to immediately confirm the legislation is pending.) The following e-mail was circulated by a Black Cat staff member early this morning:
From: “Vicki / Black Cat”
Date: June 21, 2007 1:22:38 AM EDT
Subject: Emergency legislation = Ban on all-ages venues
Councilmember Tommy Wells proposed emergency legislation today that would change DC’s summer curfew laws. As the law currently stands, the curfew applies to those 16 and under, with curfew hours beginning at 11pm on the weekdays and midnight on the weekends. Wells’ new proposal would up the age to 17 and the time to 10pm on weekdays and 11pm on weekends. And, add that to the fact that club owners have recently been told that any curfew law on record will now be enforced by the ABC Board and by the police at all establishments with liquor licenses.
So, Wells’ proposal would, in effect, create a ban on all-ages shows – as it would prevent anyone 17 and under from being at a show or club (or restaurant, party, house show, etc.) after 10pm on weekdays and 11pm on weekends. In other words, it’s a back-door method of achieving the very outcome that people so roundly criticized and fought against months ago. The worst part of this is that the meeting on Wells’ proposal is being held tomorrow at City Council (Thursday) and there will be no public comment as this is “emergency legislation.”
Please email ALL 13 members of the city council members NOW!!! and tell them to vote NO on the “Youth Summer Emergency Amendment Act of 2007”. Pass this on fast because we need to contact councilmembers before Thursday’s hearing!
Chairman Vincent C. Gray
Councilmember Carol Schwartz
Councilmember David A. Catania
Councilmember Phil Mendelson
Councilmember Kwame R. Brown
Councilmember Jim Graham
Chairman Pro Tempore Jack Evans
Councilmember Mary M. Cheh
Councilmember Muriel Bowser
Councilmember Harry Thomas, Jr.
Councilmember Tommy Wells
Councilmember Yvette Alexander
Councilmember Marion Barry