Opposing Prop 35, the CASE Act
"a dangerous initiative"

commentary-image linked at sexandthe405.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/PROP35.jpg

Featured items:

Comprehensive summary by Southern Californa Attorney: I Despise Human Trafficking, but I Oppose the Badly Drafted Prop 35 by Greg Diamond, 7/31/2012

Prop 35, Youth, Sex Trade and Sex Trafficking-Interview with Alexandra Lutnick, Researcher by Carol Leigh with SWOP/Bay Area 11/2/2012

California's Prop 35: A Misguided Ballot Initiative Targeting the Wrong People for the Wrong Reasons by Melissa Gira Grant, RH Reality Check, 11/1/2012

SAGE and Chab Dai Rescind their endorsements of Prop 35! We must ask ‘why’?, by John Vanek 10/26/2012

Why yes on Prop. 39 but no on Prop. 35 Endorsement, LA Times, 11/1/2012

No on Proposition 35 – The CASE Act, Commentary by Kathleen Kim, Anti-Human Trafficking Advocates, 9/26/2012

Don’t Undermine Victims’ Rights in Fighting Sex Trafficking by Kathleen Kim, Kevin Kish and Cindy Liou, Pacific Standard, 10/18/2012

Prop 35: More harm than good for victims of human trafficking by Perla Flores, Lynette Parker and John Vanek 9/28/2012 (Anti-trafficking Activists Oppose Prop 35)

Prop. 35's sex-crimes focus too narrow by Edith Kinney, San Francisco Chronicle 9/23/2012

Who's a sex trafficker?
by Yael Chanoff, San Francisco Bay Guardian, 9/18/2012

Retired Lieutenant John Vanek: "No on Prop 35 – CASE Act: A Detailed Examination of the Initiative"

Prop. 35 – Not the Human Rights Approach Needed to Fight Human Trafficking by Noam Perry, Justice Studies Visiting Professor, 10/29/12

Past Events

San Francisco: Sex Worker groups invite you to a Public Forum on Prop 35
Monday, October 29 at 12 noon steps of City Hall, Polk Street side
Prop 35-Sex Worker Groups Challenge Billionaire Proponent To Debate

Panel Discussion about Proposition 35 (the CASE Act) on human trafficking in California Stanford University, 6 PM 10/23/2012

Los Angeles: Press Conference for the "No on Prop 35" campaign
Friday, October 26th at 12 noon Van Nuys Courthouse West, Van Nuys, California

"Black Women for Wellness fully understands the devastating impact that human trafficking has on our families and our communities. However proposition 35 is not the answer. This measure seeks to increase sentences for human traffickers and sex offenders, however because of the broad definitions of this law, many young black and brown women and men are at risk for unnecessarily being targeted. How? Because of the loose definitions of trafficking, under this proposition, an 18 year old who take his/her partner out for dinner and a movie and then engages in sex could be seen as a trafficker. In addition, it could punish anyone who associates with minor sex workers, even if their only intent was to buy him/her food or give he/she a ride to the store. Yes the odds of this seem rare, but knowing many communities of color relationships with law enforcement, it’s not much of a reach to imagine a California in which this happen if prop 35 passes. Furthermore, this law punishes all people prosecuted as sex offenders to have their internet usage monitored for life. Yes this even includes the 18 year old we mentioned above. Black Women for Wellness wants to address trafficking, however not at the expensive of young people of color."

--Black Women for Wellness


"the California Trafficking Victims Protection Act... advanced the rights of human trafficking survivors through a victim-centered, human-rights framework by providing them with access to social services, a path to immigration relief under federal law, mandatory restitution and a robust civil cause of action. Prop 35 will roll back these protections....the CASE Act, however unwittingly, will change our current anti-trafficking laws in ways that disempower the actual survivors of human trafficking."

-- Kathleen Kim, Kevin Kish and Cindy Liou (Civil Rights Attorneys working with trafficking victims in California)

"Prop 35 will discourage sex workers from seeking help when they are subjected to force and violence for fear of being caught in the criminal legal system…dangers and the deceptive methods...to increase criminalization of women and transgender people in the name of fighting human trafficking...Costs the state of California several million dollars to enforce."

-- California Coalition for Women Prisoners

"...lavish sponsorship by what the Sacramento Bee calls ”a politically ambitious financial angel” …. under cover of fighting human trafficking, they would raise the penalties for commercial sex to an outlandish degreeand define commercial sex extremely broadly….The shocker is that CASE Act could literally make penalties for statutory rape greater than those for violent rape. The CASE Act is more of an anti-prostitution law  than an anti-modern-day-slavery law.  More than that, it’s an law that is anti-”statutory rape” — a term meaning simply underage sex."

--Greg Diamond, The Orange Juice Blog

"What will happen to those fines totaling millions of dollars? That's one of the problems with this initiative. It would lock up 100 percent of those funds to help supporters of Proposition 35."

-- Ventura County Star

"Proposition 35 has several flaws, including proposing different sentencing standards for offenders who exploit victims for labor or services, as opposed to commercial sex offenses.  This is an insult to every victim forced to work in domestic service, agricultural fields, sweat shops, restaurants, or other forms of slavery that do not include sex.  The CASE Act even neglects to address the difference between minor victims (i.e., under age 18) and adults in labor cases!"

--John Vanek's Human Trafficking Blog

"The real goal is to gain access to asset forfeiture to benefit the endorsing law enforcement agencies and non-profits....Proposition 35 has no oversight or accountability. This will open the door to corrupt practices we’ve seen before in drug enforcement...."

--Maxine Doogan and Manual Jimenez

"The US Government reports that 90% of the cases of child sexual exploitation are at the hands of someone whom the child knows and trusts- like family members. …Prop 35 does nothing to protect the victims of these predators…"

--Norma Jean Almodovar, COYOTE, Los Angeles

Such measures push sex workers, the majority of whom are mothers and young people, further underground and into greater danger...Deters young people from coming forward to report exploitation, rape, trafficking and other violence".

--USPROStitutes Collective

"The inability to see the differences between sex work and sexual slavery thwarts efforts and taxes resources set aside for identifying, freeing and protecting actual victims of slavery, …targeting sex workers makes it harder for them to come forward about abuse, murder, and other crimes — including knowledge of sexual slavery and trafficking."

--AV Fox, Sex and the 405

"It has an expansive definition of commercial sex that is way beyond how prostitution is defined. Frankly, in our capitalist society, I think you would be hard pressed to find any sex that isn't commercial under this."

--Cynthia Chandler, Attorney, co- founder Justice Now

"If people truly care about preventing human trafficking, resources should be directed toward ending child abuse and incest in the home; better services for runaways who are often escaping abuse and homophobia; and investing in education and employment opportunities for women and girls..."

--Stacey Swimme, Innovative Thinking on The Sex Industry and Social Justice

Featured Item from California Coalition for Women Prisoners 9/4/2012:

Vote NO on 35, CASE Act- "Proposition 35 - A dangerous initiative" says California Coalition for Women Prisoners

CCWP is writing to circulate information about Proposition 35, the CASE Act (Californians Against Sexual Exploitation). An informational flyer is below. Yes, CCWP is against sexual exploitation, but this initiative plays upon public concern about human trafficking and the trafficking of minors to amp up sentencing, fines and the criminalization of sex workers.

You may not have heard much about Prop 35 before this. Unfortunately, the rich funders behind the proposition have done a very good job lining up the support of women's and other progressive organizations, as well as law enforcement. There is very little information out there about the problems with Prop 35. The U.S. PROStitutes collective, the Sex Worker Outreach Project (SWOP) and the Erotic Service Providers Union among others have come together to oppose Prop 35, but they are up against a very well-financed, well-messaged campaign and are fighting to get the word out.

CASE ACT (Californians Against Sexual Exploitation)
"A dangerous initiative"
writes California Coalition for Women Prisoners

Prop 35 exploits the public’s concern about human trafficking and the trafficking of minors to heighten criminalization of sex workers and all those associated with them. It increases prison sentences and fines, expands sex offender registration for all those convicted of trafficking, and clamps down on internet use for anyone convicted of trafficking for their entire lives.

Human Trafficking is already illegal in California. Prop 35 broadens the definition of trafficking and makes the penalties more severe, expanding the role of law enforcement agencies in targeted raids against sex workers and fueling the growth of the prison system.

Prop 35:

· Further criminalizes sex workers, most of whom are women (majority mothers) and young, transgender and immigrant people. It can be used as a pretext to label sex workers themselves as pimps and traffickers. Prop 35 will discourage sex workers from seeking help when they are subjected to force and violence for fear of being caught in the criminal legal system.

· Targets undocumented sex workers for arrest and deportation through police sweeps under the guise of “searching” for trafficked victims who are minors.

· Criminalizes anyone that associates with a minor involved in prostitution regardless of whether there was any force or coercion involved.

· Increases police power to detain and interrogate people under the pretext of looking for trafficked minors and increases funding for law enforcement training to find traffickers.

· Channels money to victims’ services and non-profit agencies that work hand-in-hand with law enforcement, ICE and Homeland Security, giving those agencies a vested interest in the fines that are charged to those convicted of trafficking.

· Requires all people convicted of trafficking to register as sex offenders for life.

· Monitors the internet use of all those convicted as traffickers for life.

· Costs the state of California several million dollars to enforce.

Proposition 35 was initiated by non-profit California Against Slavery and is funded primarily by millionaire Chris Kelly, former Chief Privacy Officer for Facebook who ran unsuccessfully for state Attorney General against Kamala Harris in 2010. CASE may be his bid to win elected office in the future. By using emotionally charged terms like slavery and trafficking, Prop 35 has won the endorsement of a wide range of politicians and groups across the state – no one wants to be accused of being for human trafficking.

Human trafficking is a real problem but it cannot be solved by harsher laws and more police crackdowns. Sex workers and real victims of trafficking need supportive community services, options for employment, and educational programs that do not work hand-in-hand with law enforcement, Homeland Security and ICE .

The law enforcement, pro-prison, anti-woman, anti-trans agenda behind Prop 35 needs to be exposed and defeated!

California Coalition for Women Prisoners

With information from US PROStitutes Collective www.prostitutescollective.net


Contact: againstthecaseact@gmail.com

Vote No on the CASE Act, Proposition 35
Against the CASE Act ©2012