NEW 8 P.M. CURFEW FOR FRENCH QUARTER, MARIGNY
Mayor Mitch Landrieu congratulated the New Orleans City Council last week for its Jan. 5 passage of an amendment to the city's existing curfew law, which now moves up the curfew for those 16 and younger to 8 p.m. seven days a week in the French Quarter and the Marigny. The vote was 6-0 in favor of the new time (councilman Eric Granderson was absent).
Landrieu also said he will support a second ordinance, now in the works, to extend the 8 p.m. curfew citywide. The council is set to vote on that soon.
The idea for a citywide curfew came under intense fire from some citizens during last week's council meeting and at a Jan. 4 public hearing. According to media reports, critics said the French Quarter-only ordinance — sponsored by District C Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer — was racist in that it ignored juvenile crime problems in many of the city's poorer, majority-black neighborhoods. Tracie Washington of the Louisiana Justice Institute called for a Martin Luther King Day boycott of the French Quarter if the ordinance passed. (It was not clear whether the group still wants the boycott now that council has taken up the citywide bill.)
"I don't think I'm going to miss them," Landrieu said when asked about the boycott. "I'm sorry she feels that way." — CHARLES MALDONADO