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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Smart Voter
Alameda County, CA November 2, 2004 Election
Measure Q
Prostitution Enforcement
City of Berkeley

Citizen Initiative - Majority Approval Required

18,504 / 36.5% Yes votes ...... 32,208 / 63.5% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Dec 15 1:28pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (88/88)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text

Shall an ordinance be adopted to: 1) make enforcement of prostitution laws the lowest priority; 2) oppose state laws making prostitution a crime; and 3) require semi-annual reporting of prostitution-related Berkeley Police Department law enforcement activities? Financial Implications: Possible increases in law enforcement costs as a result of potential increase in prostitution-related crime and increased reporting requirements.

Impartial Analysis from Berkeley's City Attorney
This ordinance would: 1) declare that the people of the City of Berkeley oppose California state laws making prostitution a crime; 2) direct the City Council to lobby in favor of the repeal of such laws; and 3) make enforcement of existing prostitution laws the lowest priority of the Berkeley Police Department. ("BPD") BPD would also be required to report semi-annually to the City Council and the City's Police Review Commission regarding all prostitution law enforcement activities by the BPD. According to the BPD, its failure to enforce prostitution laws in Berkeley could draw prostitution and related crime to the City. The BPD reports that the City could experience an increase in robberies, sexual assaults, thefts, batteries/assaults, noise/disturbing the peace calls, litter, and other such crimes, associated with prostitution, in affected areas of South and West Berkeley and possibly other parts of the City.

Financial Implications
Possible increases in prostitution-related crime and related law enforcement costs.

s/MANUELA ALBUQUERQUE, Berkeley City Attorney

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Arguments For Measure Q Arguments Against Measure Q
- Stop violence against women. Did you know that the number one cause of death for prostitutes is homicide? Prostitutes are extremely vulnerable targets for rape, robbery and murder. These crimes go largely underreported because of current prostitution laws. Protecting prostitutes doesn't mean condoning prostitution; it means equal protection under the law and safer streets for everyone.

- Improve public health. Condoms are currently used as evidence of a crime against prostitutes. Laws should encourage condom use as they saves lives and protects everyone's health. Regulating prostitution decreases incidence of HIV, AIDS and STD's.

- Improve public safety by focusing on violent and serious crime. Redirect valuable police resources, in the process empowering women to fight sexual slavery. Trafficking and slavery are easier to detect when prostitution is regulated.

- Education not incarceration. According to estimates Berkeley spends nearly $1,000,000.00 annually on prostitution enforcement. We need to redirect funds toward health services and job training to create options and opportunities for prostitutes. Criminal records make transitioning out of prostitution very difficult.

Putting women in jail doesn't stop prostitution. Prosecution is no solution to controlling prostitution.

Join State Senator John Burton, Alameda County Supervisors Keith Carson and Nate Miley, Former S.F. District Attorney Terence Hallinan and the Alameda Co. Green Party leading the way toward more humane, effective policy in their support of this ground breaking initiative.

Don't Forget: Great Change Begins in Berkeley. Vote YES on Measure Q

s/AVAREN IPSEN, Ph.D. Candidate (G.T.U.) and Berkeley Commission on Status of Women
s/LOIS ROWAN, Retired Union Journalist, International Federation of Engineers (IFPTE) AFL-CIO
s/boona cheema, Executive Director, Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS)
s/BEATRICE MORRIS, Physician Assistant, Mdivinity Pacific School of Religion
s/JERRY THREET, Former President, Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club

Rebuttal to Arguments For

Street prostitutes are exposed to dangerous exploitation, physical abuse, drug addiction, and HIV. This is what motivated the well-intentioned supporters of this measure to place it on the ballot. But reduced enforcement against street prostitution will not accomplish their goals.

If passage of one simple ballot measure could end violence against women, improve public health and safety, and substitute education for incarceration, we'd have passed it long ago.

Much deeper reform is needed. And that is a tall order that reduced enforcement will not achieve.

Instead, reduced enforcement will expose our children to more open sex acts in cars and alleys, more used condoms and needles littering their streets. This really happens in Southwest Berkeley neighborhoods.

Reduced enforcement will increase street prostitution and only make it easier.

Thanks to Berkeley's successful Options Recovery Program, some street prostitutes have a choice: the courts can say "enter the Options program or go to jail." The program often leads to meaningful work, clean and sober living, reunion with families - a wonderful thing to witness. Only judges' orders keep clients in the program and only enforcement produces those orders.

Supporters mistakenly claim that funds can be switched from police to health care, but Berkeley must pay the same number of police no matter what they do. This measure spotlights the horrors of street prostitution but it doesn't advance the goals of safe sex-work. It doesn't make street prostitutes or neighborhoods any safer.


s/MAUDELLE SHIREK, Vice-Mayor, City of Berkeley
s/DESTINY CASTELLANOS, Teaching Assistant, Center for the Education of the Infant Deaf
s/EUGENE AGRESS, CEO, Berkeley Mills and Furniture Company
s/FRANKIE LEE FRASER, President, San Pablo Park Neighborhood Council
s/MARGARET BRELAND, Councilmember


Street prostitution is nothing to celebrate. Prostitutes, often among the most vulnerable people in our society, risk violence, exploitation, sexually transmitted disease, and drug addiction. Shelter and drug counselors report that children as young as 12 are being recruited into prostitution.

Berkeley is a humane city. We recognize that consenting adults should be free to engage in sexual activity without harassment. We sympathize with the plight of street prostitutes. We want to ensure that they are not forced into prostitution through desperation and that they have other options. This simplistic measure does not accomplish that. Instead, it weakens the one vehicle we have for getting people help and into programs: the courts. We need to strengthen these programs and create protections for prostitutes. This measure does nothing more than ask us to look the other way.

Measure Q does not improve the appalling conditions that entrap prostitutes and is bad for Berkeley. Because this measure qualified for the ballot, CNN and other TV stations carried the story that Berkeley allows prostitution. Our Police Chief has since reported a marked increase in prostitution along San Pablo, west Berkeley neighborhood streets, and on University Avenue. South Berkeley neighborhoods, deluged by open sexual acts near homes and schools (including the Center for the Education of the Infant Deaf and the East Bay French American School) in cars and on porches, report that condoms and needles litter their sidewalks.

As Oakland cracks down on prostitution, Berkeley appears to be opening its arms. This measure sends the message that exploitative, dangerous street prostitution is acceptable in Berkeley. It weakens our existing court diversion program. It sends the wrong message for sex workers, for our children, and for Berkeley.

Measure Q is not for Berkeley. VOTE NO ON MEASURE Q

s/REV. GEORGE CRESPIN, Pastor, St. Joseph the Worker Church
s/DR. DAVIDA COADY, Options Recovery Services
s/MARGARET BRELAND, Councilmember
s/DION ARONER, Former State Assemblywoman
s/JOHN SELAWSKY, President, Berkeley Unified School District

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
- No prison for prostitutes. Police should deal with criminal matters, removing violent and serious felons from our streets. Focus on abuse of children, coercive and exploitative behavior not consensual adult sexual activity.
- Encourage statewide reform. Angel's Initiative will help create a favorable political environment for changing state prostitution laws; however it won't stop police from responding to neighborhood complaints or enforcing state laws.
- Regional approach to prostitution. Berkeley won't be alone as we join the international ranks of humane leadership on the issue of prostitution. The U.K., Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the Netherlands, Germany and Nevada have already realized the law enforcement approach is harmful and ineffective. Let's work toward a regional approach with Oakland and San Francisco.

Don't Look the other way, look another way at this issue. Angel's Initiative puts Berkeley in a leadership role to stop violence against women and enhance public health in our communities. It's time we increased the value placed on women's lives, take the time and work together to create real solutions not temporary ones. Focus on Problems not Prostitutes.

Please join State Senator John Burton, Alameda County Supervisors Keith Carson and Nate Miley, Former S.F. District Attorney Terence Hallinan, the Alameda Co. Green Party, Dean of the Pacific School of Religion, Delwin Brown and Berkeley Physician Dr. Frank Lucido laying the groundwork for meaningful social change in California.

Vote YES on Measure Q

Visit or call 1-877-776-2004 for more info.

Great Change Begins in Berkeley!

s/YING LEE, Former Councilmember, City of Berkeley
s/DEBORAH COHAN, M.D., MPH, Asst. Clinical Professor, UCSF
s/LEE TRAMPLEASURE AMOSSLEE, Berkeley High School Teacher, 1996-2004
s/AVAREN IPSEN, Ph.D. Candidate, Graduate, Theological Union, Commission on the Status of Women
s/JANE MAXWELL, Mourning Mothers, Code Pink

Full Text of Measure Q

Shall the City of Berkeley help stop violence against women, demand that the State of California repeal laws that prohibit private consensual adult sexual behavior and that treat women unfairly, make enforcing those laws a low police priority, and cease wasting vital funds?

WHEREAS, Persons should never be forced into having sex or doing any other act against their will, whether by force or fraud, and whether they are adults or children.
WHEREAS, Laws that make criminals of adults for having consensual sex have a profound effect on the safety and well being of those adults, with all that imports for the dignity of the persons charged. When victims of such laws receive criminal convictions, collateral consequences always follow; and
WHEREAS, Such consequences include the marginalizing of those individuals, negatively impacting their safety and access to health education and services, and preventing them from obtaining other employment due to the stigma and status of a criminal conviction; and
WHEREAS, The State of California, and the City of Berkeley face a severe financial crisis, and should not allocate precious resources for the senseless enforcement of victimless crimes; and
WHEREAS, Persons who provide sexual services should have the right to report any crimes perpetrated against them, and any crimes they witness, without fear of subjecting themselves to prosecution for admitting to being sex workers; and
WHEREAS, The harms of such sanctioned discrimination are best evidenced by the brutal hate crimes perpetrated against prostitutes and women. A recently convicted serial murderer confessed that he "picked prostitutes as my victims because I hate most prostitutes and because I thought I could kill as many of them as I wanted without getting caught." Prostitutes are human beings. Criminalizing their work implies they are second class citizens subhuman and thus legitimate targets of physical violence and hatred; and
WHEREAS, Persons who provide sexual services should have the right to declare sex work as a legitimate vocation and source of income to financial institutions including lending organizations, credit facilities, and the California Franchise Tax Board; and
WHEREAS, The American Law Institute promulgated a Model Penal Code and made clear that it did not recommend or provide for "criminal penalties for consensual sexual relations conducted in private." It justified its decision on three grounds: (1) The prohibitions undermined respect for the law by penalizing conduct many people engaged in; (2) the statutes regulated private conduct not harmful to others; and (3) the laws were arbitrarily enforced and thus invited the danger of blackmail; and
WHEREAS, Article I of the Constitution of California decrees that all people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights. Among these are pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy; and
WHEREAS, The Supreme Court of the United States has recently lauded "emerging awareness that liberty gives substantial protection to adult persons in deciding how to conduct their private lives in matters pertaining to sex," that people "are entitled to respect for their private lives," and the "State cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime."
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the City of Berkeley that a new chapter 12.27 entitled "Angel's Initiative" is added to the Berkeley Municipal Code to read as follows:

Chapter 12.27 "Angel's Initiative"

12.27.010 Purpose.
The unjust laws criminalizing consensual sexual activity among adults in private whether for money or any other consideration must be repealed.
Brutal hate crimes routinely perpetrated against prostitutes reveal how such laws disenfranchise and foster discrimination against persons, especially women, and do more to harm Berkeley citizens than protect them.
We demand the reform of sex laws, and the return of our basic freedoms of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

The ordinance codified in this chapter will: A. Decrease tensions between the police and members of the community who are made to feel like criminals as a result of engaging in consensual adult sexual activity in private; B. Require the Police Department to submit semi-annual reports on the amount of arrests made by law enforcement in Berkeley; C. Instruct the City government to support efforts toward the statewide repeal of prostitution laws.

12.27.020 Definitions.
For purposes of this chapter, "prostitution" means any consensual sexual activity among or between adults whether for money or any other consideration.
For purposes of this chapter, nonconsensual sex acts, whether perpetrated by fraud, threat of force, or force, as well as any sex acts perpetrated against minors are not "prostitution," and are referred to instead as "criminal sexual acts," collectively.
For purposes of this chapter, "prostitution laws" mean the portions of Sections 266, 266d, 266e, 266f, 266h, 266i, 315, 316, 318, 647, 653.20, 653.22, 653.23, and 653.28 of the California Penal Code which criminalize sexual activity among or between consenting adults whether for money or any other consideration.
For purposes of this chapter, "prostitution laws" does not mean the portions of those sections, or any other sections of California law that prohibit criminal sexual acts as defined in this chapter.

12.27.030 Efforts to decriminalize prostitution in California. It is the desire of the people of Berkeley that laws prohibiting or regulating private consensual sexual activity between or among adults be repealed in California. In this context, the people of Berkeley fully support the present statewide efforts to repeal prostitution laws. The City Council is directed to lobby in favor of the repeal of these laws.

12.27.040 Law enforcement priority of prostitution statutes. The City Council shall seek to ensure that the Berkeley Police Department gives lowest priority to the enforcement of prostitution laws. If other portions of the Berkeley Municipal Code require "lowest priority" enforcement levels, such as the enforcement of marijuana laws, this section shall not be construed to elevate enforcement efforts against those acts. Instead, this section shall be interpreted to require equally low priority for the enforcement of "lowest priority" acts.

12.27.050 Berkeley Police Department reporting requirement. The City Council shall ensure that the Berkeley Police Department reports semiannually to it and the Berkeley Police Review Commission regarding all prostitution law enforcement activities, if any, engaged in by the Berkeley Police Department, and by county, state, and federal, and/or other law enforcement agencies within Berkeley.

12.27.060 Severability. If any provision of this ordinance, or the application of such provision to any person or circumstance, shall be held invalid by any court, the remainder of this ordinance to the extent that it can be given effect, or the application of such provision to persons or circumstances other than those as to which it is held invalid, shall not be affected thereby, and to this end the sections of this ordinance are severable.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the City Clerk is directed to transmit this resolution to all City departments, the courts, the Governor and the Attorney General of the State of California, to all members of the California Congressional delegation, the United States Attorney General, and the President of the United States of America.

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Created: December 15, 2004 13:28 PST
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