Two days after the Chicago City Council passed a more strict curfew ordinance, Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Saturday said it's just one part of a long-term solution to quell the city's violence.
"These streets are for our children and the streets will not be a random shooting gallery for the gang-bangers and thugs who are terrorizing our children," said Emanuel during an anti-violence rally on the city's west side.
Emanuel, along with community leaders, neighbors and police Supt. Garry McCarthy took to the streets with a challenge to parents: help enforce the new curfew and minimize the risks of young people being exposed to violence.
"Get the kids off the street at night through curfew, and get them into schools during the day by truancy," said McCarthy. "When we make progress on the streets, we're going to hold it. We're not going to give it back. Once we take out an organization, we're not going to give it back."
The new curfew requires young children to be off the streets by 8:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday to protect kids out on the streets unsupervised. The curfew for minors 12 to 16 years old is 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Parents have an incentive to comply. If the children don't, the family will be fined $500. Three offenses within a 12-month period will bring a fine of up to $1,500.
"It's going to take a while. The goal right now is to get through the summer as best we can. We are making incremental progress, but I'm not satisfied with that, and nobody should be," said McCarthy.
His remarks were sandwiched between several shootings on the city's south and southwest sides. At least four people were killed and several others wounded in the 24 hours before the rally. Two others were shot in the Ashburn neighborhood Saturday afternoon.
Saturday's march stepped off at 5575 W. Van Buren St. and ended at 209 S. Lotus Ave.