‘Yes’ on Proposition 35*

In California, vulnerable women and children are held against their will and forced into prostitution for the financial gain of human traffickers. Many victims are girls as young as 12.

Human trafficking is one of the fastest-growing criminal enterprises in the world and it’s happening right here on California’s streets and online where young girls are bought and sold.

A national study recently gave California an “F” grade on its laws dealing with child sex trafficking.

That’s why we need Proposition 35.

Proposition 35 will:

  • Increase prison terms for human traffickers to hold these criminals accountable
  • Require convicted human traffickers to register as sex offenders to prevent future crimes.
  • Require all registered sex offenders to disclose their Internet accounts to stop the exploitation of children online
  • Increase fines from convicted human traffickers and use these funds to pay for victims’ services so survivors can repair their lives.

Many sex trafficking victims are vulnerable children. They are afraid for their lives and abused: Sexually, physically and mentally.

The FBI recognizes three cities in California – Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego – as high intensity child sex trafficking areas. That’s why we need Prop. 35 to protect children from exploitation.

“Sex traffickers prey on the most vulnerable in our society. They get rich and throw their victims away. Prop. 35 will hold these criminals accountable. By passing (Proposition) 35, Californians will make a statement that we will not tolerate the sexual abuse of our children and that we stand with the victims of these horrible crimes,” says Nancy O’Malley, Alameda County District Attorney and national victims’ rights advocate.

The Internet provides traffickers with access to vulnerable children. Prop. 35 requires convicted sex offenders to provide information to authorities about their Internet presence, which will help protect our children and prevent human trafficking.

“As those on the front lines in the fight against human trafficking, we strongly urge ‘yes’ on (Proposition) 35 to help us prosecute sex traffickers and protect victims of sexual exploitation,” says Ron Cottingham, president, Peace Officers Research Association of California, representing 64,000 public safety members.

“Prop. 35 will protect children from human traffickers who profit from selling them on the street and online,” says Marc Klaas, crime victims’ advocate and father of Polly Klaas, who was kidnapped and killed in 1993.

“At 14, I ran away from a troubled home and into the clutches of a human trafficker. For years, I was trafficked and abused when I was still just a child. As a survivor of trafficking, I’m asking Californians to stand against sexual exploitation and vote ‘yes’ on 35,” says Leah Albright-Byrd, human trafficking survivor.

*(With some editing by California’s Capitol, this is the argument that will appear in the Voter Information Guide for November. The Legislative Analyst’s assessment of the proposition’s impact is here.)


Filed under: Opinionation


  1. I will likely vote for this however, I think it is important to note a few things.

    First, kidnapping of the sort related to the sex trafficking of minors is already punishable by in Calfirnia with life without parole – see CPC 208-209 and specifically CPC 209.


    Next, I am dubious as to whether or not this will really help. What is needed is the will and funding to target sex trafficking and it appears, based on the language above, that Prop 35 will not do so. I think it is good to have funding for the victims but that does not help to stop the crime in the first place which is where the majority of resources need to be spent.

    I would be 100% in favor of this if the first bullet were removed – it is not needed – and replaced with language that provides funding specifically for law enforcement to target and apprehend the sex traffickers.

    Let me know what you think – thanks for reading.

    Comment by Citizen Sane — 8.15.2012 @ 9:00 am

  2. Wow! Talk about baby steps to EFFECTIVELY combating, and finally ending, human trafficking in California! We already have laws on the books, albeit nowhere near strong enough. The question is why, with all their supposed wisdom and compassion, the California Legislature has not taken steps — meaningful steps – to strengthen these laws — give law enforcement and the courts something to work with. After all, the Legislature seems to have plenty of time to introduce a plethora of meaningless, unnecessary, self-serving, repetitive and even silly legislation year after year with seemingly no inclination to really get down to the people’s work.

    Never was there a more compelling issue that human trafficking. And, make no mistake, this isn’t only about children — there are great numbers of adult young women and men who fall prey to this evil. The misery, the tragedy, is unspeakable and society’s, as represented by our law makers, answer to this heinous crime is pathetically inadequate — it is irresponsible, it is reprehensible, it is cruel beyond description. I am sickened when I imagine the horrors these thousands go through and how little we have done/are doing to save them and punish the perpetrators. Fines? ARE YOU KIDDING ME!

    Whoever is responsible for the crafting of Prop 35 has done a really dismal job of it. Writing a document with real teeth as would be befitting the issue would have been a great idea — but they have fallen woefully short. This is nonsense and just another opportunity for folks to say, “well, see, we have done something to fight human trafficking.” The result of this and the resulting predictable malaise of the Legislature, is tragically dangerous and will set the effort back years.

    The reality is that the Legislature should be doing this. The Proposition route is precisely the wrong way to go – it is a lousy way to make law. The unfortunate truth is that the public is barely engaged enough to handle elections, let alone Propositions – never mind their, and society’s, best interests. Make the elected Legislature DO THEIR FREAKING JOB! It is about time. After all, they have all these Special Committees and such — and plenty of money to spend!

    Comment by sambolina — 8.15.2012 @ 9:20 am

  3. Me thinks those in office have their hands in the bad mix as well.

    Comment by Sophia — 8.15.2012 @ 6:37 pm

  4. Yes on Prop. 35 is all wrong. I won’t Stop Human Trafficking in California. I will only harm woman. I will also put the tittle of “human Trafficking” on everything that has to do with sex, they could even label people that go to strip clubs. It open up the possibility of teens experiencing with sex, or if an 18 year old man that has a 17 year old girl friend.
    For the matter of Sex offenders giving their internet presence to stop the exploitation of children online, is a joke, what about the people that haven’t been caught… People that are already labeled as a “sex offender”, aren’t online looking for more trouble and just want to get on with their life.
    If you want to stop this crime of Human Trafficking, STOP IT AT THE BOARDERS!!!! Lets stop hiding behind the bigger problem!!!!

    Comment by TJ — 9.30.2012 @ 12:34 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment