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Does City Council Back Lightfoot’s 10 PM Curfew? Aldermen Delay Vote On Making It Permanent

The move raises questions about if the mayor has enough votes for the earlier curfew to become a permanent change. Several aldermen have slammed Lightfoot's push as outdated.

At 9 p.m., security began escorting visitors out by the Cloud Gate at Millennium Park during the first night of its new unaccompanied minors restriction hours on May 19, 2022.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — A vote to make Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s earlier curfew for minors permanent has been delayed for now.

Lightfoot signed an executive order last week to move the city’s curfew for minors up an hour to 10 p.m. The curfew policy also applies to 17-year-olds after 16-year-old Seandell Holliday was killed in a shooting near The Bean. But it’s unclear how long the executive order is in effect, and Lightfoot introduced a proposed ordinance in City Council to make it a permanent change.

On Monday, Ald. Nick Sposato (38th) and Emma Mitts (37th) used a parliamentary move known as defer and publish to delay a vote on Lightfoot’s curfew ordinance, raising questions about if the mayor has enough votes for it to become a permanent change.

City Council will now vote on the proposed 10 p.m. curfew ordinance Wednesday.

The Committee on Public Safety passed the proposed curfew ordinance out of committee last week 14-3, but many alderpeople slammed the change as outdated and ineffective.

Alds. Roderick Sawyer (6th), Raymond Lopez (15th) and Matt Martin (47th) voted against the measure last week. Alds. Michael Rodriguez (22nd), Ed Burke (14th), Andre Vasquez (40th) and several others spoke against it.

During the meeting, Rodriguez pointed to research that shows curfews don’t reduce crime. A 2016 study by the Campbell Collaboration argued curfews are “unlikely to be a meaningful solution to juvenile crime.”

When the curfew was pushed up an hour to 11 p.m. in Washington, D.C., gun violence increased, according to a 2015 study.

“We’re basing crime prevention on hunches and on outdated strategies that to be quite fair, aren’t effective,” Rodriguez said at the committee meeting.

Some aldermen also slammed the ordinance for having a clause exempting teens attending ticketed events like Lollapalooza and sporting events. Vasquez argued the policy targets Black and Brown youth, many of which attend parks and free events to socialize.

When asked if the city had considered or studied any research on the negative impact of juvenile curfews on crime, city officials said they haven’t. Asked to produce data supporting the city’s use of the juvenile curfew, Deputy Mayor John O’Malley said the city didn’t have relevant data to produce.

City officials did not answer questions Monday about how long Lightfoot’s curfew executive order is in effect.

Separately, Lightfoot also announced an executive order to ban unaccompanied minors from Millennium Park on weekend nights.

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