Press Advisory from No on K, Committee to End Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation
Date and time: Monday Sept 8, 2008 9:00am Press Conference
Place: San Francisco Courthouse 400 McAllister, Room 302
Proposition K Proponents Sue to Block Voter Information about Decriminalizing Prostitution
The Committee Against Proposition K appear in court today to defend their right to explain to San Francisco voters the disastrous effects of non-enforcement of California’s laws on prostitution in the city.
In Superior Court, proponents of Proposition K, which seeks to make anti-prostitution laws unworkable, argued that certain ballot arguments by the measure’s opponents should be stricken from the voter pamphlet. Opponents argued that voters have a right to be fully informed and their expression of their views is protected by freedom of speech. The groups differ on whether the measure’s decriminalizing provisions will offer pimps a welcome mat in San Francisco.
Facts about Proposition K that its proponents want to strike from voter handbooks:
1) Proposition K will effectively decriminalize pimps and traffickers.
Weakening laws against prostitution obviously makes life easier for those who prey on and live off of prostituting others.
2) Proposition K would hobble the San Francisco District Attorney and the Police Department in investigating sex trafficking.
District Attorney Kamala Harris has said that Proposition K “would expressly bar the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking crimes. Human trafficking is a serious problem in San Francisco. Many people in the commercial sex trade have been trafficked and forced to participate in commercial sex. This measure would attempt to provide safe harbor to their traffickers.”
3) Proposition K would prevent the San Francisco Police Department from seeking or accepting federal or state funds to investigate organized crime rings that exploit trafficking victims of an identifiable race or nationality.
Trafficked women are primarily women of color and/or immigrants. San Francisco is a hub for the sex trade in Asians who are often captive in massage parlors. Culturally appropriate outreach to these vulnerable people is absolutely necessary. It is NOT, as Proposition K construes it, “racial profiling.”
”It is our right to inform the public that Prop K will harm those it claims to protect, empower those who profit from the rape of children, embolden sex traffickers and at the same time de-fund the few investigative and exit services currently available. Prop K hangs a neon “Welcome Predators & Pimps” sign on the Golden Gate Bridge and forces San Franciscans to turn our backs on the most vulnerable among us.” Norma Hotaling, No on K Committee
No on K is a coalition of health and human service providers, doctors; scientists and researchers, artists and activists, civic leaders, and the leaders of S.F. progressive law enforcement including specialists in harm reduction, human trafficking, and units that enforce, investigate and prosecute crimes against prostitutes.