Vote “No” on Proposition 35
By Maxine Doogan and Manual Jimenez
Proposition 35 falls short of its promise and voters ought to send it back to the drawing board.
Criminalization does not bring protection.
If passed, California will be writing another blank check to the proponents of Proposition 35.
This shortsighted ballot measure relies on a broad definition of pimping. This includes: parents, children, roommates, domestic partners and landlords of prostitutes to be labeled as sex offenders.
The real goal is to gain access to asset forfeiture to benefit the endorsing law enforcement agencies and non-profits.
Proposition 35 has no oversight or accountability. This will open the door to corrupt practices we’ve seen before in drug enforcement.
If passed, Proposition 35 will have a detrimental effect on the state budget. This statute relies on resources that criminalize adults who are arrested for prostitution indiscriminately in prostitution stings performed under the guise of rescuing children.
Research shows that most teens arrested for prostitution do not have pimps. Thus, the idea that this statute will pay for itself is not supported by the evidence.
Proposition 35 relies on failed policies that use criminalization as a means to arrest the under-aged all the while calling it “rescue.”
Don’t expand these already failed policies.
If passed, the state will likely be required to defend this statute in court as it will likely face legal challengers due to several questionable and possibly unconstitutional provisions including the following: vague definition of “human trafficking” including the “intent to distribute obscene mater,” “cruel and unusual” punishments including excessive prison terms and fines and inhibiting a defendant’s right to introduce evidence in trials.
This act will cost the state additional unspecified amounts. It would increase the workload to already over-burdened probation departments.
Consider the case of Jaycee Duggard and the $20 million that California had to pay her for not protecting her against a violent sexual predator.
(The proposition) would require training of police officers to enforce the expanded provisions of the act.
This misguided proposition uses fact-less fear mongering to goad voters into gambling on future fines and fees that risk redirecting scarce state resources away from existing social services intervention programs.
Laws are being enforced.
The policy underlying Proposition 35 was created outside the affected populations. The proponents stand to benefit financially by getting their salaries paid “to deliver services” to consensually working sex workers.
Sex workers do not want to be forced out of work via criminal laws and forced to receive services from the proponents. Sex workers demand a voice.
Let’s be clear. Criminalization of prostitution is the condition that allows exploitation. Let us instead address that issue.
Vote ‘No’ on these failed policies. Vote “No” on Proposition 35.
Doogan is the president of Erotic Service Providers Legal Education and Research Project Inc. Jimenez is the chief financial officer.
*(With some editing and adding of the hyperlink on Jaycee Duggard by California’s Capitol, this is the “no” argument that will appear in the Voter Information Guide for November. The Legislative Analyst’s assessment of the proposition’s impact is here.)
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