Wednesday, September 24, 2008

OK. What is wrong with this picture? Does it look like a good use of YOUR MONEY?

Why does this come up during the final round of our political election campaign?
See an earlier post on this topic.

Fort Worth officials look to join pants-raising effort

FORT WORTH — City officials want to continue to, ahem, get behind a public education drive aimed at convincing young men to give up their saggy pants.
City Councilman Frank Moss said Tuesday he wants to make sure the "Pull ’Em Up" campaign reaches parents, not just teenagers and young men.
"We’re going to continue to encourage parental involvement," Moss said in a briefing on the campaign at the City Council meeting Tuesday. "They don’t know it’s hampering their [children’s] opportunities."

The problem The sagging style — oversized pants worn low, often revealing a pair of boxer shorts — is widely believed to have its roots in prison culture.

Prisoners in some states weren’t issued belts. Rap artists picked up the style, and it became popular among young people of all stripes.
By the late 1990s, it could be found in schools and on street corners around the country. Moss and other organizers are worried that young men who wear saggy pants may be hurting their chances of getting jobs.
"This is prison," Moss said. "That’s what it is. They just brought it to the outside."
The campaign so far
Dallas City Councilman Dwaine Caraway pushed for an ordinance banning saggy pants in 2007 but backed off when warned that a ban would be unconstitutional.
Instead, he began enlisting support for a public education drive. That grew into the "Pull ’Em Up" campaign.
Fort Worth council members approved a resolution in January supporting the campaign. Clear Channel Outdoor donated billboard space, and an artist drew up a poster. Businesses and a law firm donated cash.
Umoja, a volunteer group that mentors young men, has sponsored a "pull ’em up" basketball tournament, a dance and other events. Umoja volunteers passed out more than 3,500 pushcards at the Fort Worth school district’s annual Cowtown Roundup, which distributes school supplies and clothes to children.
The future

One big question about the program is whether it’s working.

Moss said he wants to assess the results and make adjustments if necessary.
Umoja plans more events, including another basketball tournament, football-watching parties, a father-son football game and possibly a rap concert.
Mayor Mike Moncrief said the city could encourage amusement parks, sports venues and the Fort Worth Zoo to put up posters for the program. He also suggested putting bumper stickers on the city’s cars and trucks.
"So wherever they go with their pants down around their ankles, they’re going to see signs that say 'Don’t do that,’ " Moncrief said.
MIKE LEE, 817-390-7539

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