Opposition to Prop K Post at change.org

Editor’s Note: Yesterday, we heard from sex worker and activist Karly Kirchner about why she believes Proposition K – which would decriminalize prostitution in San Francisco – is right for the city. Today, anti-exploitation activist Kristie Miller argues that the measure is a step backwards.

The Police, the DA and SAGE: A lucrative partnership

by  US PROStitutes Collective* in support of Yes on Prop K

Since the First Offender Prostitution Program in San Francisco (FOPP) began in 1995, there has been much public concern over the amount of money it costs to the city of San Francisco, the use of that money and the increasing criminalization of women and men arrested for prostitution charges.

The path-breaking 1996 San Francisco Task Force on Prostitution recommended decriminalization of prostitution and a diversion of funds from prosecution to protection. The FOPP has been used to oppose demands for decriminalization as it gained wider public support.

FOPP’s three main partners are the police, the District Attorney’s Office and Standing Against Global Exploitation (SAGE). It’s stated aim is “an educational program for first offenders, rehabilitation, vocational training . . .for women trying to exit prostitution and services to aid girls to permanently exit the criminal justice system”. What that means in practice is that women and men arrested for prostitution-related activities in street sweeps are diverted to FOPP programs and men can be charged $1000 to attend. Public defenders report that people are sent to FOPP by the courts in preference to other diversion programs, which are free and reportedly more effective. How is the decision made by the court what program women are to be sent to?
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I have come to the conclusion that nobody is serious about wanting to stop trafficking.

Because if they were, they would listen to logic. They would see articles like the ones posted here on the matter, along with ones written elsewhere, like this excellent article by Marjan Wijers. (However, maybe I give too much credit to those responsible for such policy.)

Perhaps logic isn’t really what they are all about. Perhaps instead they are all about self-aggrandizement (ya think?). Perhaps they want to impress the anti folks (’cause that Farley is one sexy momma! Now there’s a research paper…the politico-erotic appeal of the antis. Honestly, in all of my years in the industry I have never read such sexist, disgusting, degrading crap as I have read in the works of those like Farley, Dworkin, Jeffreys, Mackinnon, etc. And these anti-leaning politicians tend to be Christian right extremists- all self-flagellators on some level- and probably take the anti literature to bed with them as masturbatory material. Or at least in the bathroom where their wives (or husbands) can’t see them). (Am I being naughty? Oops.)

We know politicians court the citizens they feel are highest in numbers to reelect them.

That’s why we need to use our votong power. How many sex workers and supporters are out there? How can we galvanize a voice? We need SWOP-PAC!! We need numbers to prove to them that we are an effective and significant voting population who will vote in our own best interests. We need to educate each other about the importance of paying attention to politicians and their policies. We need to write more letters, lobby Washington more, camp out on the doorsteps of our representatives. And garner more support among other Americans who are interested in bodily freedom and privacy rights.

How can we do this?