Newsom: Keep prostitution illegal

Reducing law enforcement pressure on prostitution in The City would be a “terrible mistake,” Mayor Gavin Newsom said Wednesday in response to a proposal by one city legislator.

“There are few cities in the world that have more problems with sex trafficking than San Francisco,” Newsom said. “All this does is further the prospects that that will continue.”

Last month, Supervisor Jake McGoldrick asked the city attorney to draft legislation directing San Francisco police to make prostitution one of its lowest enforcement priorities. McGoldrick said reducing enforcement would help curb trafficking and exploitation in the sex industry.

The City spends $11.4 million enforcing prostitution laws, according to a Budget Analyst’s Office estimate.

Prostitution is not a victimless crime, the mayor said.

“I think the legalization of prostitution would be a terrible mistake,” the mayor said. “Any time you see a security gate and a security camera, you know something inappropriate is happening in there.”

McGoldrick told The Examiner he is pushing the idea in an effort to bring out from the shadows the problems of trafficking and exploitation by muting legal repercussions for sex workers.

“By driving sex workers underground, what you do is create opportunity for crimes to be committed against them,” McGoldrick said.

Dawn Trennert, a resident in the Middle Polk neighborhood, has worked with police to cut down on prostitution there, and said she disagreed with McGoldrick’s proposal.

“The vast majority of prostitutes who work in San Francisco don’t live in San Francisco,” Trennert said. “They commute here because we’re easy on crime. How much more of this trafficking would occur if the police don’t even address the issue?”

dsmith@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Fiona Hinze (Courtesy Fiona Hinze)
Advocate for people with disabilities nominated to SFMTA Board

Mayor Breed says Fiona Hinze brings ‘important perspective’ to agency leadership

Lakeshore Elementary School was closed in March shortly before SFUSD closed all schools due to coronavirus concerns. The district is now working to prepare all elementary schools to reopen by mid-January.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
School district preparing buildings for hybrid learning

SFUSD plans to use 72 elementary schools and 12 early education sites for first phase of reopening

There have been at least 142 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among workers at San Francisco International Airport. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Supes back SFO worker healthcare legislation despite airline, business opposition

Costs of ‘Health Airport Ordinance’ in dispute, with estimates ranging from $8.4 M to $163 M annually

Thankfully, playgrounds that were closed due to the pandemic during the summer have reopened.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
The perils of parenting, COVID-style

At long last, it’s OK to take your little one out to play

Ten candidates are running for a seat on the Board of Trustees of the San Francisco Community College District.. (Courtesy photos)
Strong leadership needed as City College faces multiple crises

Ten candidates vying for four seats on CCSF board

Most Read