Friday, November 14, 2008

Window of Opportunity

The San Francisco ordinance restricting new licensing of massage parlors following on the heels of the 2005 raids by federal agents was a step in the right direction, but the problem of trafficking young women and girls for prostitution didn't go away with the headlines. Indeed, as the recent electoral campaign to legalize prostitution in the city of love made clear, the trafficking for prostitution industry is often misunderstood--so much so that even some of San Francisco's most progressive politicians still get it wrong.

With the sound rejection of legalizing prostitution by San Francisco's voters in 2008, there is a chance to generate some momentum toward offering real solutions through local government, rather than relying on sporadic efforts by federal agencies that round up criminal networks every now and then. In fact, with the strong support shown by the governor, the mayor and the district attorney against human trafficking, it would seem that the time is right for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to move forward a plan to address the human rights tragedy taking place on its doorstep every day.

Windows of opportunity to do the right thing don't come that often in politics; San Franciscans would be wise to take advantage of this one while they can.


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