Decriminalize Prostitution Now Coalition
Your Tax Dollars Are Being Wasted Ruining Citizens Lives
Instead of fighting real crime

How To Get Sex Work Laws Changed

San Francisco not surprisingly has been in the lead trying to get the laws changed. 
August 12, 1998 From Spectator Magazine ( A very informative publication!)

San Francisco, CA - Prostitutes' rights activists here have launched a petition drive urging city officials to follow up on a study that called for decriminalization of the sex industry. Defense attorney Nedra Ruiz spoke at the news conference announcing the petition drive and called money spent on enforcing prostitution laws "a total waste of municipal funds." The 1996 study was produced by the 29 members of the San Francisco Task Force on Prostitution (web site link now broken!), which was set up in 1994 by the Board of Supervisors. The proposed decriminalization has received support from District Attorney Terance Hallinan, who nevertheless notes that such a move would have to be approved by the legislature.

Dave says...the last sentence is the important one. It has to be done at the STATE level since there are also state prostitution statutes. Perhaps the thinking in San Fran is that if they get the city prostitution laws off the books, even though there are still State laws, that local police will not enforce the State law if contradicts with local. Just my guess.  I really would like to know the legal situation when or if a city can pass a law that contradicts State law.

Also the  San Francisco Task Force on Prostitution report is outstanding showing why decimalization benefits the citizens and saves wasted financial and police resources.  We don't however need another tax force, the results of the San Francisco study is clear and the conclusions would be similar in any major U.S. city.

Clearly it would be MUCH harder to get approval statewide than in San Fran which is probably the most liberal cities in the nation. Like the fact that even the DA is for decriminalization. Unlike in Phoenix and most other American cities.

Getting Local Laws Changed

The requirements and procedures may be completely different in your city.   But in Phoenix and Glendale AZ at least the procedure is quite straight forward. For example in Phoenix:

A Phoenix resident  stands up before the Phoenix City Council during "Citizen Request" time to introduce in 3-5 minutes what we plan to have as a well thought out proposal to decriminalize prostitution in Phoenix.

We know the city council will not agree, but it starts getting public awareness and city council awareness of  well thought out organized ideas. There seems to be no limit on how many can make a presentation at different council meetings.

Next step: If in a six month time we can get 12,765 signature on a petition for a proposed decriminalization act, it will be formally presented to city council. If, as expected, it is turned down by City Council, it MUST be included as a proposal to the voters in the next election.

We will need LOTS of help to get 12,765 names.  The names have to be on specific forms and have to be signed in person in front of the volunteer!   We need volunteers that may be willing to do this. Dan is a resident of Glendale, not Phoenix so he can't. I need to be more behind the scenes at this point but obviously helping in other ways.

The primary reason people don't protest the laws is out of fear of public embarassment and loss of employment. If someone works with children in any way and protests this law, s/he can expect to lose his/her job. If you work for a Mormon and try to make a stand, expect a rough time at work. Hell, if you come out in favor of titty-bars, imagine the grief you'll catch at work. But if it can ever get to a ballot people may vote their conscious since votes remain private.

What we are faced with is moralists imposing their values on other people. If they can't reach us by knocking on our doors and preaching, then they will instead enact laws to prevent us from doing what they secretly wish they could.

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