Proposition K is gaining momentum in San Francisco! You Can Help!

Come to San Francisco to walk precincts and attend events with ‘Yes on K!’ We have a ton of stuff planned to get out the word and keep the “Yes on K” message loud and visible throughout the city.

Proposition K in San Francisco calls for the city to end the harmful practice of arrest-based approaches to sex work. Sex workers and supporters are the major driving force behind this ballot initiative and the ‘Yes on K’ team is working hard to ensure that sex workers’ voices are heard during the election. We need your help to continue the momentum and to raise even more support from allies and endorsers! The city of San Francisco is in general extremely supportive of sex workers’ rights. Our opposition is working to put spin on this measure to imply that supporting sex workers means supporting violence and traffickers. We know that’s not true! We need your support to spread the word and inform the progressive people of San Francisco that by supporting our rights, they’re supporting a more effective approach to ending abuses in the sex industry.

There are many ways for you to help!

1- Make a donation! We desperately need to get more literature in Spanish and Chinese as well as in English. Time is running out for us to get material printed, please help by donating here.

2- Stay informed! Get on the mailing list by sending an email to: carol@bayswan.org
3- Put a window sign up in a visible part of your house! Give some leaflets to your friends! Email slava8@ymail.com to get material
4- Join the local core organizing team! We still need a few committed activists and supporters to join us for our weekly planning meetings and to help coordinate volunteers. Email propkvolunteers@gmail.com if you can help.
5- Host volunteers! If you already live in San Francisco or nearby and have an extra bed, couch or mattress that someone can sleep on, contact stacey@desireealliance.org with info about the dates you can host and how many people.
6- Come to SF from out of town between October 24th and November 3rd!

Local volunteers in San Francisco are opening up their homes to volunteers from outside of the city to come join the campaign! So if you have a few days or a weekend and can get yourself out to SF, we’ll put you up while you’re here!
The most critical time to come out and help is between October 24th-November 3rd. During these dates we will have volunteer trainings, literature drops, precinct walks, parties an historic town hall meeting at the Unitarian Church and more! This is an opportunity for you to bring the skills that you have to our campaign as much as an opportunity for you to learn new campaign skills!
If you’d like to come out and you need a place to stay, email stacey@desireealliance.org to be paired up with a local host in San Francisco. Include information about your housing needs such as allergies to pets, traveling with children, the dates you can come and other key info.

See you in SF!

RECENT MEDIA ABOUT PROP K

SF Chronicle’s Violet Blue praises Prop K

The Bay Guardian is very excited about Prop K. Listen to our discussion with the SFBG on their website.

Sadie Lune, Artist and Sex Worker wins 1st place at the Museum of Modern Art!

12 Responses

  1. The text of Prop K clearly forbids the city from investigating trafficking if it involves prostitution. It forbids the city from investigating any prostitution, including child prostitution. People are upset about Prop K bringing a huge amount of trafficking to San Francisco because that is exactly what Prop K will do!

    Not to mention the happy gang wars we’ll have to determine who will control the trade in the mission and tenderloin. Happy days!

  2. No, it will not prevent police from “investigating trafficking”. Prop K will prevent the police from arresting people for prostitution.

    As for trafficking, the police could hardly care about that. All they do now is collect bribes.

  3. No, Prop K does not forbid investigations into trafficking. The public defender confirms this in his statement.

    He writes “This initiative would not prohibit local law enforcement from enforcing federal law to combat the exploitation of persons who are kidnapped, transported, abused and held captive by sex traffickers”

    What Prop K does prohibit is sex trafficking investigations that involve racial profiling. Because prostitution is criminalized, and sex workers and clients will not go to the authorities when they see evidence of trafficking, under the current system, the only way for the authorities to gather evidence of trafficking is by racially profiling sex workers, and assuming that they are trafficked victims just because they are Asian.

    This has been a very BAD strategy, and has resulted in ZERO prosecutions for trafficking in San Francisco in the past two years.

    By decriminalizing prostitution, the DA can actually have a BETTER strategy to stop trafficking, and that strategy is to work WITH sex workers and clients, instead of AGAINST them. Actually, this is common sense.

    Prop K will actually result in MORE prosecutions for trafficking for this reason. Terry Koch, of the National Lawyers Guild also confirms this in his paid ballot argument:

    “The laws as currently enforced make it harder to stop sex trafficking and child prostitution. Prosecutions under the California Trafficking Victims Protection Act would increase under this measure. With the passage of Proposition K, victims of sex trafficking will find it easier to come forward because they do not have to fear arrest or deportation simply because they were engaged in illegal work. Those who are victimized will have a chance for justice.”

  4. Also, under the criminalization of prostitution, sex workers are being persecuted under legislation that is supposed to be about stopping human trafficking. Since when does persecuting sex workers stop human trafficking?

  5. The opponents of Prop K are classic in the sense that they can’t make their case so they toss absurd rhetoric in an effort to mask the weakness of their position with the red herrings of causing fear and anger in those who don’t know the issues. Hopefully people won’t buy into their spin of they are the good people fighting trafficking against those who want to legislate trafficking into protected status. Which if thought is applied it is obvious that is just political gamesmanship on their part. Human traffickers don’t use democracy to legislate into legality their obvious criminal efforts. Human traffickers actually need criminalization. There is no greater invisible prison wall to escape than making the victim also the criminal. Traffickers know this and use it to coerce cooperation and silence.

    Opponents of K posture on advocating decriminalizing the prostitutes based on the Swedish model legislation. Yet they oppose K which would achieve what they state is the most important objective of Swedish legislation which is to decrim and protect the women. For all of their loud posturing for Swedish style decrim. Where are their legislative efforts on that? When it actually comes to doing the work for Swedish legislation rather than talking about it in speaking events and on blogs. Where are they?

    They talk of themselves as rescuers of trafficking victims. Yet they as a movement support TVPRA which has taken away far more resources than it has added. Removing the funding restriction would increase the number of people and organizations working to assist those in human trafficking. TVPRA has done the opposite. It has funneled all of the money to a select group of organizations and individuals. We don’t wipe out crime by having a few very well funded organizations and arresting in bulk hoping to come up with a few victims.

    Prop K opponents talk of arrest being the first step in a prostitutes recovery. Easy to say unless one is speaking first person from the perspective of being arrested. How many people that have been arrested feel it was an empowering experience that was a catalyst to recover? Perhaps on Miami Vice, NYPD Blue or Crime Story where all the police are wonderful highly caring about every criminal good guys. It’s great TV to Crockett and Tubbs spend all of their waking hours and days off to help some poor person they had to arrest. It is also television.

    It is imperative prior to buying into the soundbytes of the opponents of K that one think through the logic of their statements. They state advocating decriminalization yet oppose it and make no legislative effort to bring in their style of decrim. This is far more about protecting their assets by opposing change than it is protecting others.

    I have an experiment for anyone who feels being arrested is a rehabilitative experience. Take your car and drive at whatever the mandatory arrest for speeding level is. In my state I believe it’s 30mph over. So do 85 in a 55 in front of a police officer so that you are arrested and can begin the process of your life changing event. Gee, you don’t want to? Neither does anyone else. Opponent of Prop K organization SAGE makes a significant amount of money from those that have been arrested by court mandated diversionary sentencing. Thus it is easy for them to say that arrest is the first step in recovery. That is a huge chunk of their funding stream. One they don’t want taken away. And motive for their opposition to K. Is it protecting human trafficking victims they are advocating by opposing change? Or protecting their funding? Which it is understandable that they want to keep their funding to keep their jobs.

    I have no doubt that most of the people opposing K are doing what they feel is right and trying to do what they believe is a benefit to social justice. But they are fighting the rights of others and taking part in adding to the suffering of many to save a very few while paying their salaries. They do oppose funding for basic outreach projects such as condom distribution in street outreach to insure all the funding goes to them and like minded others. Ask the person later infected with HIV that doesn’t have the opportunity to be rescued because they have died whether or not it was good legislation. Oh wait, we can’t ask them because they died. But we can get the whole story from opponents of Prop K who will gladly tell us the perspective of both parties..

    Please……. Before you oppose Prop K based on what opponents of K are saying. Know what you’re agreeing to.

  6. Jill Brenneman asked why those who advocate the Swedish model of prostitution legislation on their blogs do not lobby for this legislation in the political arena?

    I can’t really answer that, but I can perhaps hazard a few guesses.

    The Swedish Model of decriminalizing prostitutes while criminalizing their solicitors, if applied in the United States, would probably not have the same effect as over in Sweden. If this model went into effect over here, it would actually be an IMPROVEMENT over the existing laws (except for the state of Nevada, where solicitors of prostitution aren’t currently criminalized). For instance, the police could not target independent escorts in any way, and couldn’t arrest even street prostitutes except for perhaps loitering. The best they could probably do is to target strip-clubs and escort agencies for solicitors. Because of this, it would be that much harder for radical feminists to “prove” that prostitution is inherently harmful if it is IMPROVED even to Swedish Model standards.

    So instead of eliminating prostitution significantly, it’s more likely that the Swedish law here might increase the independent sex worker variety of sex-work, while decreasing the brothel/strip-club/agency variety. And that would be contrary to the rad feminist rhetoric of prostitution as “buying/selling women’s bodies” or “buying women in prostitution”. If a woman wants to sell herself, or her body, well then that’s more or less her prerogative and choice, and radical feminist rhetoric is out the door.

    So in essence, the entire propaganda edifice of radical feminism might be endangered with the actual application of the Swedish law here in the United States. Which is why the rad-fems target Western European countries for the Swedish law, because over there the law would NOT be an improvement to their own existing laws on prostitution.

  7. They are a movement that talks of change but wants everything to stay the same so that they keep the funding stream. Sounds remarkably familiar to other neo-con movements that talk about working to save, rescue and empower a population while in reality taking away their rights.

  8. Susan wrote:
    “If a woman wants to sell herself, or her body, well then that’s more or less her prerogative and choice, and radical feminist rhetoric is out the door.”

    Though I’m confident Susan meant this in an empowering way, I prefer to stay aware from terms like “selling our bodies.” Providing sexual services in exchange for payment isn’t the same as selling our bodies and we don’t put this type of rhetoric onto workers in other industries. For example, we don’t put this rhetoric onto predominately male physical labor, like I don’t hear people accusing professional football players of selling their bodies, even though their work is physical and they bang around their bodies for a lot of $$$$$.
    I mean this in the kindest of ways, but the “selling our bodies” phrase has been used against sex workers to disrespect us as legitimate workers making a living.
    I hope people understand why I have a problem with this phrase.

  9. Oops, I meant to say I prefer to stay away from terms like “selling our bodies” in my first sentence. Sorry for the typo.

  10. I have a problem with the phrase “selling herself”, and “selling her body” as well. I meant it in the context of the words that radical feminists and others use.

    My apologies in that regard.

  11. Thanks, Susan, but no need to apologize. I realize you didn’t mean it in a negative way.

  12. Prostitution = selling access to bodily orifices. Period.

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