Atlanta City Council promotes campaign to curb youth violence



Atlanta City Council wants parents to check-in with their children by 9 p.m. as part of an effort to curb youth violence.

A resolution passed Monday urges community stakeholders — including media outlets and faith leaders — to promote a public service campaign with the slogan: “It’s 9 o’clock, do you know where your children are?”

Council member Keisha Sean Waites introduced the resolution for immediate consideration after her previous efforts to tighten the citywide curfew for youth stalled.

“It’s my belief that this resolution creates a culture of accountability citywide,” Waites said. “...I’m clear that this is not a panacea, but it will in fact, I believe, help to keep minors off the street and assist parents who may be having challenges with their young people.”

Approved unanimously, it encourages community stakeholders to use television, radio, social media, billboards and storefront windows to display the slogan to remind parents to keep track of their children — especially as weather starts to get warmer.

Council member Marci Collier Overstreet questioned why the resolution was being introduced for immediate consideration during full council on Monday and made a motion to refer it to committee, which ultimately failed.

“I actually like this legislation,” Overstreet said. “But if I’m trying to figure out why this is immediate, why don’t you want this to go through committee?”

Waites argued that previous efforts to keep Atlanta youth off the streets at night, like revising the city curfew, didn’t have support to be implemented and the resolution was a simple initiative that could have an impact.

“I think given the number of youth that we have lost to violence throughout the city, this needs to be urgent, and this should be the top priority,” she said.

Waites began her original push to institute an earlier citywide curfew for Atlanta youth in November after a 12-year-old was killed and five others wounded during a shooting at the Atlantic Station shopping center.

Atlanta currently has an 11 p.m. curfew in place for children 16 and under.