Posted March 27, 2008 – A citizens’ task force says the Atlanta City Council should stay out the fashion business — particularly forgetting about punishing people who wear saggy pants, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Instead, the group says, city leaders should counsel young people about other clothing options.
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"It needs to be addressed, but not in the way of an ordinance," said task force co-chairwoman Brenda Muhammad, a member of the Atlanta Board of Education.
In August, Councilman C.T. Martin proposed an ordinance banning clothing – especially saggy pants – that exposes undergarments because he said it offended some residents and distracts some young people from pursuing academic success.
An early draft of his legislation proposed fines or community service for violators. The City Council formed a citizens’ task force and gave it 180 days to get opinions from Atlantans and make recommendations. Wednesday, the task force said an ordinance putting police on the lookout for anyone wearing pants well below the waist was ludicrous.
"Let us not be responsible for building this generational iron curtain pitting young against old based on ideological differences," said task force member Jarrod Jordan , 27. "I recommend that we table (the idea) indefinitely and concentrate our efforts in bringing about change through discourse and awareness."
Several cities, such as Baltimore and Hawkinsville, in middle Georgia , have passed ordinances discouraging the fashion trend. The Atlanta School Board voted in December to expand a ban on "baggy oversize clothing" that included "sagging shorts or trousers."
Local officials from the American Civil Liberties Union have vowed to sue the city if it passes any such legislation. The recommendations will come to the City Council's public safety committee next month. The committee will decide whether any resolutions or ordinances on saggy pants get a vote by the full council.
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