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
The News
Prop K Based on Harmful Myths - by Mayor Gavin Newsom and District Attorney Kamala Harris PDF Print E-mail

If enacted by voters, Proposition K will force San Francisco to become a welcome mat for pimps and sexual predators. Prop. K is a terrible proposal that runs counter to our values as compassionate San Franciscans.

Prop. K is based on the harmful myth that prostitution is a victimless crime. Repeated studies document that often prostituted women and children have been victims of abuse, violence or molestation. Many have been coerced into participating in commercial sex. Prostitution arrests have unearthed evidence of human trafficking, which is nothing more than the modern-day enslavement of poor and immigrant women and girls.

If Prop. K passes, San Francisco’s justice system will be forced to turn a blind eye to victims of commercial sexual exploitation. Prop. K effectively prohibits the investigation of human-trafficking crimes by the Police Department and the prosecution of these cases by the District Attorney’s Office.

In 2004, we formed a citywide Human Trafficking Task Force. We secured grant funds to educate firefighters, paramedics, building inspectors and health officials on the signs and symptoms of human trafficking. Our task force has inspected more than 180 establishments and shut the doors of more than 30 brothels and illegal massage parlors. Inspectors have uncovered evidence of human trafficking such as chained doors, women trapped inside 24 hours a day and the absence of any massage tables in a “massage” parlor. Girls as young as 9 and 10 years old have been found. If Prop. K passes, these life-saving trainings and inspections will be hampered.

Keep trafficking out of city PDF Print E-mail
By Ken Garcia
SF Examiner Staff Writer

It took nearly two years for authorities in Berkeley to extricate its fragrant tree-huggers from their lofty heights on the UC campus, pretty much cementing the city’s place as the wackiest in the West. But wait — don’t count San Francisco out — it’s about to give Berkeley another run for its (streetwalking) money.

SF Chronicle Editorial - Don't decriminalize prostitution in S.F. PDF Print E-mail
Friday, September 5, 2008

The proponents of Proposition K, a measure to decriminalize prostitution and prohibit some sex-traffic investigations, realize that the measure won't do anything to prevent the often-desperate circumstances that lead people into sex work. They admit that the measure is merely a beginning, that may "point towards decriminalizing other parts of this industry," as Carol Leigh, director of the Bay Area Sex Workers Advocacy Network, told The Chronicle's editorial board. 

They even admit that, if you live in a neighborhood like, say, Capp Street in the Inner Mission, where the prostitution trade is pervasive and the many things that accompany it - violence, drugs, sirens - run rampant, things might get worse if this measure passes.
Why decriminalize prostitution now? PDF Print E-mail

By C.W. Nevius
San Francisco Chronicle
Saturday, August 30, 2008

When ultra-liberal San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly put together a slate of like-minded people to run for membership in the Democratic County Central Committee this summer, the intention was to make a splash in local politics.

Measure would protect pimps, not prostitutes PDF Print E-mail

By Debra J. Saunders
San Francisco Chronicle

A quick reading of the measure that will go before San Francisco voters in November to decriminalize prostitution easily could leave you with the misimpression that the measure is an exercise in fairness that demands that prosecutors go after men who abuse prostitutes and implement policies "to reduce institutional violence and discrimination against prostitutes." A careful reading of the initiative, "Enforcement of Laws Related to Prostitution and Sex Workers," however, shows a measure that shields child prostitution and traffickers in human beings.

Read the full article.

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