Opposition to Prop 35, the Case Act on trafficking, is growing (see below).
Prop 35 pretends to be about protecting young people from trafficking but instead it:
Criminalizes anyone who assists young people in prostitution — a young person under 21 working with a friend could face prosecution as a trafficker and sex offender status for life, for giving her/him something “of value”.
Does nothing to help genuine victims – no housing, welfare, or other resources are provided to help victims recover and rebuild their lives. Existing laws on rape, kidnapping and exploitation could be used against violent offenders if there was the will to do so.
Increases law enforcement, which will result in more raids, prosecutions and imprisonment of sex workers. Pushing prostitution underground leaves sex workers more vulnerable to rape and abuse. Victims of violence will be deterred from reporting for fear of arrest, and for those of us who are immigrant, for fear of deportation.
Exaggerates the extent of child sex trafficking by using phony statistics; mystifies the rape and abduction of children by calling it “commercial sexual exploitation” and “trafficking”.
Downgrades the most common forms of trafficking –domestic work, sweat shops, agriculture, restaurants — by providing lower penalties for these labor victims.
Encourages corruption: police and NGOs will get the money collected in fines, giving them a vested interest in more and more arrests. Victims get no direct funds.
Allows a massive law enforcement intrusion and invasion of privacy of the internet.
Promotes a moral crusade by misleading the public and mixing up prostitution, which is consenting sex, with trafficking, which is force, coercion and fraud. A similar crusade against Craigslist deprived sex workers of a way to advertise and work independently.
Watch out! Facebook millionaire Chris Kelly is pumping money into Prop 35. Is this another misinformed, opportunist who appears more interested in furthering his political career than the needs of vulnerable people?
For more info: Againstthecaseact@gmail.com
Opposition to Proposition 35
California Council of Churches: ” This proposition not only does nothing to help victims, it amends the existing law in very dangerous ways… By emphasizing penalties we will simply once again expand the prison population… We cannot support it.”
California Coalition of Women Prisoners: “The law enforcement, pro-prison, anti-woman, anti-trans agenda behind Prop 35 needs to be exposed and defeated!”
Nedra Ruiz, Criminal Attorney:”Enactment of Prop 35 will double state prison penalties and create a new life sentence with the result that the innocent accused would be afraid to go to trial and risk such severe penalties.”
Sacramento Bee: “More than enhanced penalties, changes in the evidence code or expanded state sex offender registry, victims of human trafficking need safe harbors, and assurance that if they are rescued they won’t be deported.”
Assembly Member Tom Ammiano: “There are things in this proposition that I have some concerns about and am troubled by.”
Maxine Doogan: Erotic Service Providers Union: “Prop 35 relies on failed policies that use criminalization as a means to arrest the under-aged all the while calling it rescue; it will open the door to corrupt practices we’ve seen before in drug enforcement.”
Bay Area Reporter: “This proposition is not necessary and has too many bad provisions. This proposition is an abuse of the initiative process. The proposition makes no provision for funding, which will certainly be in the tens of millions of dollars annually. It also contains numerous provisions that seriously invade privacy and would have lifelong effects on those caught in its web.”
California Legislator Mark Leno: “This is an issue that the legislature has repeatedly been dealing with..unfortunately in my opinion the proponents never approached us to see if they could work with us or to amend our bills.. and again to find a way to pay for the additional cost…”
Cindy Liou, Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach: “It incorrectly presumes that increased prosecution and protections of trafficking survivors is entirely premised on increased penalties and fines rather than a comprehensive approach.”
US PROStitutes Collective: “Existing anti-trafficking measures are primarily used to criminalize sex workers and target immigrant sex workers, in particular women of color, for arrest and deportation. Prop 35 turns sex workers and their friends and families into sex offenders.”
John Vanek, ex-San Jose cop, specializing in anti-trafficking: “……Prop 35 could actually harm the response to trafficking in our state. Enhancing trafficking laws should be created via the legislative process, not the initiative process. I urge you to vote NO on Prop 35…..a shotgun approach to a complex issue.”