Kathy Wray Coleman, other citizens, address media re: Cleveland Heights kids curfew

Submitted by Jeff Buster on Mon, 07/18/2011 - 19:21.
In a light drizzle at the front door of Cleveland Heights City Hall this evening Kathy Wray Coleman and others addressed the 5 or so commercial news camera crews who were in attendance.   This curfew story obviously must have strong commercial news potential. Cleveland Heights City Hall is located on the Severance Mall campus at the corner of Taylor and Mayfield. There was no police presence, and those 15 or so citizens who attended were a pretty even mix of white and black.  The news media was all white.
There is an un-natural and  awkward dynamic between the media and those who are involved in the event.   The media set up their tripods in a line about 15 feet away from the citizens, and the citizens set up a line parallel with the media - kid of like a firing squad set up .   The media are observers of the rally and not part of the rally.  Pretty weird - it is all for the TV. Have you ever organized a public event like a political rally?   Seems like a skill which should be taught in public schools – but is not.   There were 4 or 5 young people at the rally this evening – they are fortunate to be receiving an education in political activism. I intend to obtain a pdf of the City of Cleveland Heights curfew ordinance and post it here soon.
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Holding parents accountable

It actually looks like this "fad" has hit Cleveland, after some of the bigger cities--



Philly, Chicago, St. Paul, Washington D.C. have all been hit with similar mob events.  I think that CH's curfew is not an appropriate response to this bad behavior, but fining and holding parents accountable may be the best response. 

Unfortunately, controlling the behavior before it starts is the ultimate challenge.  Stores, especially, will have the to right to refuse entry to large groups and we have seen this already with buzzer access to boutiques and hair salons.  So sad.

Also--the media will focus on these negative stories, instead of positive large group events like the Ohio Homecoming--


Kids need structure, rules, guidelines, boundaries...we are not giving them the framework they need to live a good life.

Heights Observer has provided some coverage of this story--and comments:




Jenita McGowan wisely suggests seeing the + of congregating


What seems to be the very local issue of a Coventry Street Fair event in Cleveland Heights, Ohio that became "too" popular at 6:00pm in June and resulted in the Cleveland Heights City Council issuing an ordinance curfewing youth from two commercial areas in Cleveland Heights, is very instructive of how our society and our very primitive "democracy" goes immediately off track in the slightest side wind.  Please read Ms. McGowan's opinion here on her blog LustfeltformyRustBelt.
The "adults", members of the Cleveland Heights City Council, have embarrassed themselves, their community, and the US Constitution with a "punish them forward" ordinance.  (Refering to Pay it Forward as the alternative)  
Collective Punishment is banned under the Geneva Convention, but the Cleveland Heights City Council missed that.....
What do the Councillors think the kids will think of the Ordinance? Will the youth think the ordinance reasonable or unreasonable?   Flash back to your own youth.   When the rules were unreasonable what did you do? Acquiesce?
I hope not.
I hope that any one, young or old, who has a ”rule “ imposed on them - which rule they don’t believe is reasonable – will revolt and seek to overthrow the rule and ruler.
So the significance and importance of the mistake that the Cleveland Heights City Council has made is severe.  
Instead of providing security and stability for the commercial districts from "youths", the Cleveland Heights City Council has created its own mal-wind, an unjust wind, which anyone can smell and feel, and that unjust wind will lead to amplification and passionate emphasis of the polar opposite of what the Council sought to mandate.
Youth, will not be toyed with or obstructed.
Council, please get you act together.  And look beyond your fears as Ms. McGowan intimates, to reach a higher place.
However,as McGowan suggests "Keep in mind however,  The ability to assemble equates to power. The teens know it and so does everyone else. We should be encouraging these teens to exercise their power, to feel part of something larger than themselves, to connect with others in the community".
So until the Cleveland Heights City Council controls twitter, etc. the Consitution is in flux, under pressure, and I wanna know who is coming together! just kidding


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