One year ago, Mayor Michael Nutter became visibly frustrated (to say the least) with the swarms of teen flash mobs gallivanting around the city, committing all sorts of nefarious and random crimes.
By the end of last summer, Nutter was beyond fed up. As printed in The Washington Times, he angrily addressed the city’s disobedient youth and their ultra-relaxed dress code, telling them, “Take those God-darn hoodies down, especially in the summer…pull your pants up and buy a belt ‘cause no one wants to see your underwear or the crack of your butt.”
In the same speech, the mayor also took Philly parents to task, saying, “Maybe you’re sending them a check or bringing some cash by. That’s not being a father. You’re just a human ATM. … And if you’re not providing the guidance and you’re not sending any money, you’re just a sperm donor.”
Though Nutter’s aggressive stance resonated well with the public, it looks as though he is taking a slightly more calculated approach this time around, relying strictly on policy rather than verbal tongue lashings.
In hopes of preempting Philly’s annual summer of blood, the Mayor has implemented a “Fun, Safe, Philly Summer,” which is set to begin next week. The mayor spoke at the Stoneleigh Foundation symposium Wednesday afternoon, declaring, “every rec center open, every library open, every pool open this summer.”
He also announced that there are more than 15,000 ways—besides flash mobbing—to keep occupied this summer, essentially begging the youth to take advantage of some of these opportunities and let go of their marauding tendencies.
Although his new plan neglects the discernable lack of proper attire (especially belts), it does give way to an important discourse on creating a safe environment for Philadelphia teenagers. “We need an entire community response, a collective response” the mayor noted, “this is Stoneleigh’s attempt to connect to bring together a broad-based of stakeholder’s together and create a dialogue among them.”
Here’s hoping it actually works.
Photo by Laurence Kesterson/AP.