While Senator Barack Obama rejects prostitution and trafficking as an abuse of human rights,  San Francisco voters are being urged to make our city a sanctuary for pimps and traffickers.
What we have to do is to create better, more effective tools for prosecuting those who are engaging in human trafficking and we have to do that within our country. Sadly, there are thousands who are trapped in various forms of enslavement, here in our country - oftentimes young women who are caught up in prostitution. So we've got to give prosecutors the tools to crack down on these human trafficking networks. Internationally, we've got to speak out and we've got to forge alliances with other countries to share intelligence, to roll up the financing networks that are involved in them. It is a debasement of our common humanity, whenever we see something like that taking place.
~ Senator Barack Obama

I exploited my body and gave myself to any man who wanted a piece. It was a vicious lifestyle. What these men don't know -- or maybe what they DO know -- is that prostitutes or streetwalkers or "happy hookers" are women with a deep sense of pain. Most have been abused in unimaginable ways.
~ Brenda Myers-Powell

Proposition K conceals the inhumane nature of prostitution and cripples the efforts of law enforcement, human rights groups and social service agencies to assist those who seek escape from sex-traffickers.
~ Kamala Harris, SF District Attorney

..there is nothing broad-minded about looking the other way when 14-year-old girls and boys sell themselves on the street and massage parlors are staffed by women who are being held against their will. These are not consenting adults.
~ Debra Saunders
Ballot Arguments | Print |  E-mail

Unfortunately, my office sees the faces of women and children being exploited every day. Many are brought to San Francisco against their will by human trafficking rings that force them into sexual slavery. Many speak little English and don’t know their rights. Many are victims of pimps who control their lives.

All of them are scared.

Proposition K empowers pimps and human traffickers, allowing them to exploit their victims without repercussion.

If Proposition K passes, San Francisco’s justice system will turn a blind eye to those who violate the human rights and dignity of their victims, encouraging these dangerous predators to come to San Francisco.

Proposition K forces police officers to disregard California’s prostitution laws, strips ALL funding to investigate human trafficking rings and prevents my office from prosecuting prostitution-related crimes.

This measure will harm prostituted children, for whom enforcement efforts are often the only hope. Only by pursuing and prosecuting abusers can we find these young victims and give them the help they need.

Services will be cut across the board if Proposition K passes. City funding will end for re-education programs like the First Offender Prostitution Program and Early Intervention Prostitution Program.

Proposition K conceals the inhumane nature of prostitution and cripples efforts of law enforcement, human rights groups and social service agencies to assist those seeking to escape.

As a law enforcement officer, a woman and a citizen of San Francisco, I ask you to join me in voting NO on Proposition K.

Signed: Kamala Harris, San Francisco District Attorney


In 10 years of operations serving homeless women, SafeHouse for Women Leaving Prostitution's client surveys record:

75% had extended periods of homelessness
90% had major mental health diagnoses
90% suffered severe child abuse and/or incest before age 18
90% had long-term drug addiction
57% never completed high school
75% are mothers with children in the system
They averaged 19 years in prostitution beginning as young as 12.

Proposition K cuts funds for supporting prostituted women in changing their lives.

Don't abandon them to pimps and other predators.  Vote No on K.

Elizabeth Boardman, Writer and Peace Activist*
Maritza Penagos, MSW, MSPH – HIV Services Activist*
Aileen C. Hernandez, California Women’s Agenda*
Doreen Der-McLeod, Cameron House*
Glenda Hope, Safehouse for Women*
Rev. Norman Fong, Chinatown Community Development Corporation*
Barry Hermanson, Green for Congress*


Prostitution is a racist, sexist activity that drives human trafficking, a form of slavery.

Trafficked women are primarily women of color or immigrants. San Francisco is a hub for the sex trade in Asians (often captive in massage parlors), Latinos (used in Cantina bar prostitution), and African Americans (often sold on the street).

The first prostituted women in California were trafficked Chinese women. Today we see the same trafficking of Chinese, Korean, Filipina, Thai, and Vietnamese women trafficked by pimps and sold to johns in San Francisco massage parlots and escort prostitution.

Measure K will decriminalize pimps and traffickers. Pimps do not speak for most prostituted people, who are predominantly women of color, trafficked, and poor.  Measure K will end funding for educational services that help women and children escape their slavery. We oppose Measure K.

Yasmin Kaderali, Students & Artists Fighting to End Human Slavery*
Aundre Herron
Andrea Bass, San Francisco United for Women & Neighborhoods*
Kathleen Watkins, Prostitution Research & Education*


Proposition K strips San Francisco of ANY ability to investigate and prosecute human trafficking crimes - crimes that we know disproportionally affect women, children and immigrants.

Recently over 100 women were trafficked into the Bay Area, mostly young adults, vulnerable and abused. Should Proposition K pass, victims of human trafficking and forced prostitution like those 100 women would have no protection or support and law enforcement would be forced to ignore any prostitution-related illegal activities.

To turn a blind eye to women and children who have been exploited in the sex industry is a crime.  Proposition K puts women in danger, emboldens their abusers and encourages human traffickers and pimps to seek refuge in our City.

This is a matter of human rights.

I urge you to help protect victims of sex trafficking by joining me, District Attorney Kamala Harris and the San Francisco Police in voting NO on Proposition K.

Signed: Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier


Measure K, if it passes, will damage the most vulnerable among us. It will prevent enforcement of laws against people who violate their human rights.

Measure K will prohibit prostitution investigations. Sex trafficking investigations result from prostitution investigations.  Sex traffickers will gain virtual immunity. They know this. Measure K proponents hide it.

Measure K would cripple prosecution of sex traffickers and hobble human rights groups and social service agencies in helping people escape prostitution. Women, children, and immigrants -- the vast majority of those in prostitution -- will be abandoned, along with their human rights.

Human traffickers often victimize those from a single racial or national group. Under this measure, the San Francisco Police Department could not seek or accept federal funds to investigate organized crime rings exploiting victims of an identifiable race or nationality.  Investigations into severe crimes that disproportionately effect women of color, children, and immigrants will be prohibited.

Measure K hides the true nature of prostitution and misrepresents our labor laws. Prostitution is not covered by labor laws because it is known to be so dangerous and degrading that it can never be made safe and nonexploitive.

Sex traffickers flock to destinations where law enforcement ignores prostitution. Please don't vote for Measure K.

Pamela LoPinto San Francisco United for Women & Neighborhoods*
Laurie Fields, Dept. of Psychiatry UCSF*
Alicia Boccellari, Trauma Recovery Center*


Proposition K is a trafficker's dream. To pimps and johns, it would declare open season on women and children, putting those involved in prostitution in even more danger and removing them even farther from urgently needed help.  Prostitution is an extremely dangerous activity for those in it.  They are not any safer if they are offered for sale just like Kleenex, which is what this ballot measure would do.

Most women, men, children, and transgendered individuals who are trapped in prostitution in San Francisco are domestically or internationally trafficked.  Having been systematically sexually abused and exploited, 90% of them want to get out of prostitution.  Measure K would de-fund educational programs that offer victims of trafficking help and the means to escape. We need more housing, addiction treatment, mental health and job counseling for those in prostitution -- not fewer services.

Let's defeat this measure. Let's enforce the existing state laws against pimps, johns, and traffickers. Let's develop a progressive social policy and legal response to the human rights violations of trafficking and prostitution.

Allen Wilson, Member ACLU*
Francine Braae, Interim Executive Director SAGE Project*
Ann Singer, Jewish Coalition to End Human Trafficking*
Gretchen Richardson, Program Manager, Walden House*
Roma Guy, Former Health Commissioner*
Libby Denebeim, Former President, SF BOE*


Proposition K is dangerous for San Francisco neighborhoods because it creates a refuge for sexual predators and human traffickers, putting the safety of every San Franciscan at risk.

Our neighborhoods will see increases in individuals roaming our streets to solicit prostitutes without fear of prosecution.

Young women and children could become targets for pimps looking to recruit them into prostitution.

There are no supporting controls to this ordinance to regulate its impacts.

Vote NO on Prop K!

Signed: Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods


*For identification purposes only; author is signing as an individual
and not on behalf of an organization.