Stephanie Rawlings Blake, Mayor of Baltimore City, got boos today, (7.13.14) as she introduced R&B artiste Anthony Hamilton. She was applauding the turn out for the final day of Artiscape, the city's annual free festival celebrating artistes throughout the country. The three day annual festival attracts over a quarter of million visitors, food vendors and scores of artistes.
The mayor looked shaken by the reception, and it is believed all this has to do with the new curfew law restricting the activities of minors beyond certain hours. It requires that children under 14 be off the streets by 9 pm. The bill, which will soon be signed, says in part, "no minor under age 16 may remain in or about any public place or any establishment between the hours of 9 am and 2.30 pm on any day during which the minor is required to be in school".
This new law will require more work for the city's child protective services, more counselling, and parents will pay by either losing custody of their children or paying fines. Baltimore is not the only city with these new laws, nearby Philadelphia, has done the same, and add to the list Las Vegas and Oakland California.
Even though the mayor is taking the heat, the bill is young councilman Brandon Scott's idea, and he served in one of the toughest neighborhoods in the city, Park Heights. In his bio, he is a recreation neighborhood specialist, and in 2005 received a Club Leader Award as a Black Student Leader President.
Following the Mayor's departure from the Artscape stage, the crowd returned to its festivities.