Public Safety EmPower Alert from the Office of Atlanta City Councilman Ceasar C. Mitchell

July 30, 2009

Contact:  Contact Councilman Ceasar C. Mitchell at (404) 330-6052 or at ccmitchell@atlantaga.gov
 
 
Daytime School Day Curfew Up for a Vote
Dear Atlantan:
 
This summer has been extremely difficult for many of us who live, work and learn in Atlanta.  Our city is experiencing crime to the point where fear and frustration have become palpable.  I commend our Atlanta Police Officers for their tireless efforts to protect and serve the good people of Atlanta.  They are using every resource available to identify, capture and convict individuals who operate outside of the law.  I also strongly urge citizens to maintain a sense of calm and courage, but not complacency.
 
This week I resurrected legislation that continues my efforts to provide our police and communities with adequate tools and resources to make our city safer.  On August 17th, the Atlanta City Council will vote on an ordinance unanimously approved by the Public Safety Committee to impose a daytime curfew to keep school-age children off the streets during the middle of the school day.  Specifically, the ordinance prohibits minors age six (6) to sixteen (16) from loitering, wandering or playing in public places during the hours of 8:30 am to 2:30 pm.  Of course there are reasonable exceptions to this prohibition which are clearly delineated within the law.  While truancy laws are currently on the books and enforceable, this ordinance is intended to create accountability on the part of the parents of truants.  Multiple violations include the possibility a fine, community service and/or jail time for the parents or guardians of minors who are repeat violators the ordinance.  Enforcement of this ordinance is one of several clear and practical steps towards ensuring that Atlantans, both young and old, are better protected and our city is Safe, Clean, Green and Thriving.

It is always difficult to impose strict rules.  Yet, we must be realistic about what our fellow citizens, families and neighborhoods are facing with regard to crime.  Crime statistics and the personal stories of the unfortunate victims, reveal that too many young people are becoming involved in carjackings, robberies, burglaries, shoplifting and home invasions in broad daylight.  We cannot accept or tacitly condone the attacking of our seniors, teachers, residents, business owners and other law abiding citizens.

Let me be clear, this is not a condemnation of all of our city’s youth.  I am personally aware of numerous young people who are respectful of the law and are good citizens.  Similarly, this is not an attack on parents who are diligent in ensuring that their children are in school or otherwise accounted for during the day.  I interact with promising youth as I regularly visit schools throughout our city during the academic year.  To date, nearly 2,500 students and their parents have participated in my semi-annual College Prep Series which focuses on getting young people successfully admitted into college.  As well, I am not oblivious to the challenges many of our youth and their families face.  With a weak economy, limited employment opportunities and too few summer recreational programs, the potential for committing crime increases exponentially.  Still, this reality can NEVER justify criminal behavior.

To the parents of Atlanta, we need your help and support.  Before, above and beyond our teachers, principals and the police, the primary responsibility to direct, discipline and monitor a youth rests with that youth’s parent or guardian.  It is not too much to ask for a parent to be involved in and ultimately responsible for the whereabouts of their son or daughter during school hours.  Furthermore, the safety of our young people is a major reason I proposed the ordinance as it is designed to protect our children.  Properly supervised at school or home, our young people cannot be forced or influenced to participate in a violent crime, be arrested by the police, or worse, be themselves harmed by a fearful or frustrated victim.

Our greatest asset and source of inspiration are the youth of Atlanta.  Any action the City Council can take to prevent them from committing crimes, or being a victim of one, must be given serious consideration.  Only through bold leadership and decisive action can we reclaim our communities and streets.  Join me in this effort by participating in a neighborhood watch program and contacting the police when a crime or suspicious activity occurs.  Working together, and only together, will we succeed in protecting our youth and saving our city.

Community EmPower Alert

from the office of Atlanta City Councilman Ceasar C. Mitchell

Contact: Contact Councilman Ceasar C. Mitchell at (404) 330-6052 or at ccmitchell@atlantaga.gov

What You Need to Know About DTV
Today the nation will transition to digital television when broadcasters begin airing exclusively digital signals – and analog television sets that are not connected to a converter box, cable or satellite will stop working.

Consumers can call 1-888-DTV-2009 or visit www.dtv.gov to learn more.

It is important that all households and families are prepared for the transition. Please share this e-mail with your friends and family who might be affected.

What Is The Digital TV (DTV) Transition?
Currently, many over-the-air stations are broadcasting in both analog and digital TV formats.  By June 12, 2009, all full-power TV stations will broadcast only in digital. The DTV transition will affect those who watch free, over-the-air television (through a rooftop antenna or “rabbit ears”).  If you watch over-the-air programs on an analog TV, you must take action now.

Why Are Broadcast Stations Switching to Digital?
Federal law requires the switch, which will free up the airwaves for police, fire, and emergency rescue communications, allow broadcasters to offer programming with better picture and sound quality and offer more programming choices, and allow for advanced wireless services for consumers.

What Should I Do to Be Ready?
You have three choices:
1. Connect your analog TV to a digital-to-analog converter box
Your local broadcasters might make the transition before the June 12th deadline, and some already have. So be ready. Digital-to-analog converter boxes are in stores and have a one-time cost of $40-$70. To help you pay for the boxes, the U.S. Government is offering two $40 coupons per household. (Please note that these coupons will expire 90 days after mailing). For more information on the coupons, visit www.DTV2009.gov, or call 1-888-388-2009 (voice) or 1-877-530-2634(TTY).

2. Buy a digital television (a TV with a built-in digital tuner)
You do not need a High Definition TV (HDTV) to watch digital broadcast television. You only need a digital TV (or an analog TV connected to a digital-to-analog converter box). Plus, you should not need a new antenna if you get good quality reception on analog channels 2-51 with your existing antenna.

3. Subscribe to a paid TV service
If your TV set receives local broadcast stations through a paid provider such as cable or satellite TV, it is already prepared for the DTV transition. Cable companies are not required to transition or switch any of their channels to digital. However, if you have an analog TV that does not receive local broadcast stations through your paid provider, you will need a digital-to-analog converter box to watch digital broadcasts on that TV.

For More Information:
1-888-CALL-FCC (Voice)
1-888-TELL-FCC(TTY)
DTVINFO@FCC.GOV