Proposition K to Decriminalize Prostitution in San Francisco Endorsed by the Democratic Central Committee

When Scarlot Harlot put out the rallying call, we listened.

With only two days notice, a sizable group of sex workers, allies, and supporters showed up last night to the public testimony meeting of the DCC to solicit endorsement for the newly named Prop K. Each speaker had one minute to plea their case ranging from endorsing Eric Quezada for District 9 Supervisor (that advertising worked on my susceptible mind; I heard his name so many times I’m sold!) to a large group of mostly Asian high school students and their teachers testifying to the  importance and positive impact on students’ lives of the Junior ROTC. That was an amusing intersection for sure, as well as a depressing eye-opener; apparently the only way these children are learning life skills, self-confidence, structure, as well as getting male African American role-models (mentioned several times as 75% of the JROTC counselors or teachers or Sargents or whatever the term is are African American men) is through this military based model.

Anyhoo, the hos came out in force and had a consistent string of voices heard throughout the beginning of the clusterfuck that was the sign-up process (There was literally a yellow legal pad and a first-come, first served policy for signing up to speak, which meant that all of the speakers for all of the topics petitioned were all mixed together, and adults are not necessarily sensible nor fair about this sort of thing).  Our opposition; including Melissa Farley and her cronies, did not show up until about half way through the speakers and were still outnumbered by the impassioned assemblage of well-spoken supporters by quite a margin. Maxine Dougan videotaped the proceedings, and among the speakers were: Robyn Few, Patrasha, Lady Monster,  Maxine Dougan, Melissa Gira, Scarlot Harlot, Scarlot Harlot’s mom, Violet Palmer, Bacchus (representing the client’s perspective) as well as many other sex workers, the founder of the City Clinic, a number of lawyers and several other articulate, professional looking men to lend that special brand of validity to those who need  articulate, professional looking  men to believe the good word. I spoke and passed out several of the “Brief Lesson on San Francisco’s Historic Whores”cards,  which detail some of the contributions of sex workers throughout SF’s history.  These flyers were made for the Sex Worker Pride Float and available at the Desiree Alliance Conference in Chicago, and the panel seemed to enjoy reading them throughout the proceedings.

Despite two incidents of furor over our presence, the panel listened more or less intently and seemed to take us fairly seriously, in fact at one point one of the panel members asked for a copy of the legislation from us but no one hand one on hand.  The first incident was when a panel member spoke in the middle of the public testimony to the chair, informing him that as the chapter of the DCC for the city, they really had no jurisdiction over the prostitution decriminalization issue and were obliged to follow the lead of the decision of the California DCC, or something to that affect. Basically it seemed like this gentleman just did not want to hear any more about the measure and wanted to let us know we were barking up the wrong tree, though many of his colleagues made “what the hell is he talking about!?” and “oh, gimme a break” faces at his interruption. The second incident, which seemed somewhat juvenile, occurred after one supportive speaker brought up the point that statistically there were likely several former sex workers and former clients on the panel who couldn’t speak up about their position based on stigma. This broke the proceedings for a moment so that the majority of the panel could have a could chuckle over that ‘improbability’ and jokingly speculate, accuse and lay false claim to their involvement in the industry as sexual laborers or consumers.

At about 10pm I got the call from Scarlot that the DCC had decided to endorse Prop K, created by the Erotic Service Providers Union,  with a 18-12 vote in favor. Currently Prop K is also endorsed by the Harvey Milk Club and the Lawyer’s Guild.

I was so proud of us, thank you to all those who came and all those who spoke, we are working to set a crucial precedent.

11 Responses

  1. I’m SO into y’all hos SF! We in NY and in $pread Magazine have a little extra cash from “Grind the Vote” events, Maxine mentioned a matching grant to ESPU, are there any organizations and-or individuals who want to match $300?

    I wish I had video-editing skills – a viral YouTube video could get the campaign another g- and e-roots boost!

  2. I’ve got the video and am working on uploading it but need to get permission from folks to do so…might take time. (help). Also our video guy may be able to hide identities so we can at least hear the audio which was astounding.

  3. Great job everyone. I am very proud of you!

  4. I Love It! Great Website! I fully support sex-workers, Onward with Prop K. I may be here in Los Angeles but some day I fill move to S.F. !

  5. The second incident, which seemed somewhat juvenile, occurred after one supportive speaker brought up the point that statistically there were likely several former sex workers and former clients on the panel who couldn’t speak up about their position based on stigma.

    I would have loved to have seen the look on the faces when that was said.

    Great job, guys. Really great.

  6. Wow – wonderful work! Ya’ll are so inspiring! Let us know when the video goes up so we can put it on our blogs.

  7. We’ve got it on tape

  8. […] Yes, Scarlot Harlot and her mom – here […]

  9. […] K to decriminalize prostitution in San Francisco is endorsed by the Democratic Central Committee. If passed, I’ll be adding SF to my regular […]

  10. The opponents of this proposition K are telling lies, and scare tactics to get people to vote against it. By lying and saying that all prostitutes are forced to do it against their will. Yet they can never find anyone who was a victim of this. Where are all these victims? Why aren’t they coming out and talking and showing themselves? It’s just a made up lie. It is very difficult to force anyone to do something against their will. They would need 24 hour guards, and be watched over like being in prison, with no chance to escape. Try getting someone to do something they don’t want to do and see how successful you are – you won’t be. Since this is a victimless crime, the opponents and racial feminists need to invent a victim in order to get support. They could have chosen the johns, the hookers or the city itself. They chose the hookers to be the victims even though it’s the hookers who want to decriminalize because they realize it’s the police, justice system and the government that hurts them, not the johns. Why is it that the ONLY people who are working for this to pass are the prostitutes themselves? Why would the victims themselves want this to pass? Maybe it is because they are victims of the police and justice system who abuse them and their customers. By the way, there is a federal law the says any foreigner who was a victim of prostitution in the USA if they go to the justice department and complain and help prosecute their pimp, then they can stay in the USA, get a green card and become a US citizen. So that means these women will then be encouraged to lie about it, in order to become citizens. So if you are a woman, just lie, pick a random guy to be your pimp and you can become a US citizen, and get money from the government. Easy – isn’t it?

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