K, San Francisco, November 2008:
ENFORCEMENT OF LAWS RELATED TO
PROSTITUTION AND SEX WORKERS
to Prop K Information Page
Be it ordained
by the people of the City and County of San Francisco:
Section 1. Findings
The people of the City and County of San Francisco hereby find and
The San Francisco Task Force on Prostitution was created by the Board
of Supervisors in 1996.
According to 1996 statistics compiled by the San Francisco Task Force
on Prostitution, the city allocated $7.6 million annually to law enforcement
officials to prosecute prostitution related cases. In 2007, the Budget
Analyst’s Office estimates that amount to be 11.4 million.
The police department has applied and received additional federal
monies in the form of federal grants to racially profile prostitutes
for investigation and/or arrest under the guise of rescuing trafficked
The police department targets massage parlor workers and management
in numerous sting operations, which result in the loss of economic
independence for those workers.
The police department utilizes those same targeted businesses as a
means of entertainment for its ranks, as demonstrated in the Bayview
Station police videos, made public in December, 2005. This demonstrates
a lack of respect for their human dignity, freedom of choice, and
The San Francisco police department and the San Francisco District
Attorneys office has completely ignored dancers in dance clubs who
have made written and tape recorded statements on prostitution, sexual
assault, rape, and extortion in the form of the ‘pay everyday
to work’ program.
The San Francisco District Attorneys Office has demonstrated unequal
prosecution of the laws regarding prostitution related activity, in
that street-based, home-based, massage parlor and out call escort
workers are prosecuted to the full extent of the law leading to either
the issuance of citations or arrest, yet dance clubs workers and managers
are not prosecuted within the full extent of the law when issued citations
or arrested. This policy reflects the long standing “Cronyism”
between dance club owner/operators and key decision makers.
Article XI of the California Constitution provides Charter created
counties with “home rule” powers, allowing counties to
enact laws that exclusively apply to residents within their borders,
even when such a law conflicts with state law or when state law is
silent. San Francisco adopted its most recent comprehensive Charter
revision in 1996.
Section 2. Requiring the San Francisco Police Department and San Francisco
County Office of the District Attorney to enforce existing laws regardless
of the victim’s sex worker status.
The San Francisco Police Department, the Office of the District Attorney,
and associated law enforcement agencies shall be required to practice
consistent and rigorous enforcement against coercion, extortion, battery,
rape and other violent crimes, regardless of the victim’s status
as a sex worker.
The San Francisco Police Department and the Office of the District
Attorney shall be required to practice full disclosure in the investigation
and prosecution of charges of rape, extortion, sexual assault, and
battery against sex workers, exotic dancers or erotic service providers.
Section 3. Requiring the San Francisco Police Department to not use
public resources for the purpose of depriving another group of workers
their right to negotiate for fair wages and work conditions, regardless
of their status as sex workers.
Law enforcement agencies shall not allocate any resources for the
investigation and prosecution of prostitutes for prostitution.
San Francisco’s law enforcement agencies shall not apply, nor
receive federal and state monies that institute racial profiling as
a means of targeting alleged trafficked victims under the guise of
enforcing the abatement of prostitution laws. Those funds shall instead
be reallocated toward the implementation of the recommendations of
the San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ 1996 San Francisco Task
Force on Prostitution Report and Human Rights Commission, which address
the issue, and recommend policies to reduce, institutional violence
and discrimination against prostitutes.
Section 4. Prostitution Shall Be Decriminalized.
The San Francisco Police Department, San Francisco County Office of
the District Attorney, the SAGE Project, Inc., nor any other agency
of the City and County of San Francisco or their designates, shall
not subject sex-workers to life long economic discrimination associated
with having a criminal record. The City and County of San Francisco
shall not support either economically or through legislation the “First
Offenders” program or any similar intentioned program that forces
sex workers into re-education programs. Furthermore, the City and
County of San Francisco, its agencies, departments, representatives
and their designates shall not profit from the criminalization of
prostitution, or from anti-prostitution programs such as the “First
Offender” program where costs are assessed and collected, then
split by the participating agencies.
Section 5. Effective Date.
This ordinance shall become effective on January 1, 2009
Section 6. Severability.
If any provision of this ordinance or the application thereof to any
person or circumstances is held invalid or unconstitutional, such
invalidity or unconstitutionality shall not affect other provisions
or applications of this ordinance which can be given effect without
the invalid or unconstitutional provision or application. To this
end, the provisions of this ordinance shall be deemed severable.
Section 7. Amendment.
By a two-thirds vote and upon making findings, the Board of Supervisors
may amend this ordinance in the furtherance of reducing the criminalization
and violence against sex-workers.
to Prop K Information Page