13 March 2007

No to Ban on Minors in DC Clubs

photo: Susie J. Horgan from her new book of early DC punk scene pics, Punk Love

Alec Bourgeois [Dischord Records and Superbad Records] writes:

DC Councilman Moves to Ban Minors from Clubs in DC

In response to a the murder of Talesha Ford outside at a nightclub in DC, Councilman Jim Graham has introduced legislation to ban minors from venues that also serve alcohol. We grieve the senseless loss of another young life on our streets, but feel that to simply ban young people from activities that connect them to the District's rich and diverse musical community is both short sighted and ill-considered.

Since the early '80s, the DC underground has built and maintained a tradition of using musical bonds to support community activism. Organizations like Positive Force have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for local shelters, medical clinics, AIDS outreach, rape crisis centers, etc. -- all through all-ages benefit shows sponsored in nightclubs, church halls and non-traditional music spaces alike. Many of the people who volunteer for groups like Positive Force, and many of the members of the bands that play these shows, are teenagers or were turned on to this community while in high school or before.

None can argue whether the inclusion and active participation of "minors" in the Washington music community is one of the major reasons for it's initial rise and continued vibrancy. Nor can one argue that the active participation in a community that cares for it's own, offers positive mentors, cultural diversity, and teaches self reliance has saved many, many more souls from the violent and dangerous distractions on our streets than it has claimed.

Please write to Jim Graham and show your support for all ages access to music in Washington, DC.

Write Jim Graham at: jim@grahamwone.com

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