Los Angeles City Council Votes Unanimously to Support Proposition 35 – Stop Human Trafficking in California
Los Angeles, CA – The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously today to support Proposition 35 – Stop Human Trafficking in California. Slated for the November 2012 ballot, Proposition 35 is an initiative that will fight against human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of women and children in the state. Today’s action by the City Council carries special significance given that Los Angeles is one of three cities in the state recognized by the FBI as high intensity child sex trafficking areas.
Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jan Perry led the motion to support Proposition 35, saying: “By supporting Prop 35, Los Angeles is fighting back against human trafficking of vulnerable women and children that is happening in our community. Unfortunately, Los Angeles is a center for child sex trafficking, but we can fight back against these terrible crimes by passing Prop 35 and putting in place tougher penalties for human traffickers. We urge all voters in Los Angeles and throughout the state of California to join us in supporting Prop 35.”
Chris Kelly, Founder of the Safer California Foundation, said: “As the governing body of California’s largest city, today’s vote of support from the Los Angeles City Council is significant. Californians have the chance to take a stand against these crimes with Proposition 35, and Los Angeles is helping to lead the way in that fight. Together, we can fight back against human trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and children in our state.”
The Los Angeles City Council is the governing body of the City of Los Angeles. Founded in 1850, it consists of fifteen elected members and serves the needs of nearly four million Los Angeles residents. At today’s City Council Meeting, Councilwoman Jan Perry authored the resolution to support Prop 35 and Councilmember Tom LaBonge seconded the motion.
About Proposition 35 – Stop Human Trafficking in California:
In California, many vulnerable women and young girls are held against their will and forced to sell their bodies. The victims are often girls as young as 12 who are sexually exploited for the financial gain of human traffickers. They are afraid for their lives and abused – sexually, physically, and mentally.
Human trafficking is said to be one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises in the world – and it is taking place right here in our own backyard. Three cities in California – San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego – are recognized by the FBI as high intensity child sex trafficking areas. In addition, a recent national study by a victims’ rights group gave California an “F” grade for its weak laws dealing with child sex trafficking.
Proposition 35, a partnership of California Against Slavery and the Safer California Foundation, will protect children in California by:
· Increasing prison terms for human traffickers.
· Requiring convicted sex traffickers to register as sex offenders.
· Requiring all registered sex offenders to disclose their internet accounts.
· Requiring criminal fines from convicted human traffickers to pay for services to help victims.
Proposition 35 has also been endorsed by organizations representing over 90,000 rank and file California Peace Officers, advocates for the protection of children, including Marc Klaas and the KlaasKids Foundation, and survivors of human trafficking. Prop 35 has strong bipartisan support and is endorsed by both major political parties in California.