Interesting muni election they're having up in my former home town...
One proposition on the ballot would name a sewage plant after President George W. Bush, something I'm sure is getting big yuks around certain circles in Sodom-By-The-Bay. Another, Proposition K, would effectively legalize prostitution by prohibiting local authorities from investigating, arresting or prosecuting anybody involved in it.
San Francisco currently spends around $11 million per year on prostitution busts, and Proposition K's proponents - which includes the local Democrat party, naturally - are pushing this as a savings to the taxpayers, probably the first time they've been concerned about that particular issue in their entire lives. But the real reason is ostensibly to prevent prosecution of what the pro-K advocates call 'sex workers' for what they term is a victimless crime,under the auspices of tolerance. Supposedly, freedom from prosecution is supposed to eliminate the pimps and allow sex workers to protect themselves.
My personal opinion? Because the measure doesn't legalize prostitution per se or regulate it in the least but merely prohibits the police from policing it, it amounts to open season for pimps and human trafficking and will bring street hookers into neighborhoods that haven't seen them before, thus lowering the quality of life still further for the residents.
Most pimps don't have to use force to get their girls out on the street, and what physical coercion does take place is done behind closed doors where nobody sees. For example, you can beat the crap out of a woman and cause her intense pain by letting her have it with a rubber hose on various parts of her body without leaving marks or damaging the 'merchandise'. Anyway, most street hookers tend to be underage girls ( or boys) manipulated by their mac daddies either through emotional con games or by simply making addicts out of them who are dependent on their pimps for supply. The only thing that will change if K passes is that law enforcement will be prohibited from curbing the worst of the excesses or intervening to send some 15-year-old runaway back to Oklahoma or Ohio.
K will also make it increasingly difficult for the SFPD to investigate and prosecute human trafficking, even though that would technically remain a crime. The bill specifically prohibits the cops from taking federal money for investigations that involve what's termed racial profiling. i.e 'Asian massage parlors', many of which are notorious for importing young underage girls into the US under the pretense of getting them jobs as maids or domestics. Once they're here, they're virtually at the mercy of their 'employers' since they usually don't speak the language, have no money and no place else to go and are easily intimidated into turning tricks if they want to eat or stay healthy. Under Proposition K, that situation will now be business as usual.
Rather than being a referendum on whether prostitution should or shouldn't be a legal endeavor, with the oversight, regulation, zoning control and worker protection that implies, the most horrible part of this is that it amounts to simply looking the other way, and will simply make the city a less humane and liveable place.
Sorry to say, it's about what I'd expect from San Francisco these days.We'll see if it passes....