Thursday, November 6, 2008

Two California cities enact ban on recruiting minors

Great news from Northern California. Can we do this in Texas?

November 5, 2008
Arcata, California
For immediate release:

On November 4, voters in two northern California cities passed ballot measures that prohibit military recruiting of anyone under the age of eighteen.
Arcata, California, home of Humboldt State University, is well known for its progressive politics and its municipal involvement in promoting peace and defending the Constitution.
Neighboring Eureka is widely perceived as a more conservative timber town and fishing port, with the habit of poking fun at the perceived political excesses of its more progressive neighbor six miles to the north.

Measure F in Arcata passed with 73% of the voters in support, and Measure J in Eureka had 56% approval.
With such large majorities in both cities favoring the measures, it is clear that people of all political persuasions want the military to stop recruiting kids.
This is in response to the fact that young teens are increasingly being targeted for enlistment in the armed forces, as manpower needs from two unpopular wars outpace willing volunteers.

The "Youth Protection Act" makes it an infraction for a military recruiter to "initiate contact" with minors, within the city limits, for the purpose of recruiting them into the military. It in no way prevents anyone from talking with a recruiter if he or she chooses to do so.
The ordinances will take effect in 30 days, and proponents will use that time to meet with city attorneys and police to work out enforcement details, and to prepare for the possibility of legal challenge by the federal government.
Supporters believe that communities have a right to protect young people under 18 from being pressured to join the military at an early and vulnerable age. They point to laws already on the books that prohibit advertising that targets youth with messages promoting drugs, alcohol, tobacco or sex.
Meanwhile, voters in both Arcata and Eureka are happy to have joined together in shouting out, "Hey recruiter, leave them kids alone!"
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