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Mayor passes prostitution proclamation

Mayor passes prostitution proclamation


October 10, 2002
Sentinel staff writer

SANTA CRUZ - The nation already knows Mayor Christopher Krohn and most of the City Council opposes a U.S. war on Iraq and backs medical marijuana.
Now, Krohn, whose recent stances have drawn national media attention, is standing behind a day-long international halt to all pornography, mail-order bride services, exploitation, phone sex, stripping, sex tours and bestiality. The day was observed Oct. 5.
The full council did not vote on Krohn’s anti-exploitation proclamation Tuesday. In a statement during the council meeting, he said Santa Cruz was joining seven other cities worldwide in the “First Annual International Day of No Prostitution.” The others include Berkeley, Portland, Phoenix and Melbourne, Australia.
Those who respected the ban eschewed pornography, phone sex, trafficking and prostitution in massage parlors, “on the street, in hotels or anywhere else.”
Krohn said he’s trying to draw attention to a problem with international and local overtones.
“Racism, poverty, previous sexual abuse and drug addiction are the four major determining factors” that cause women to become prostitutes, the proclamation reads, noting female prostitutes have a mortality rate 40 times higher than the national average for females.
The proclamation was an abbreviated version of one drawn up by activist Ann Simonton.
Simonton, who protested the Miss California pageant in the years before it relocated from Santa Cruz to San Diego in 1985, has been working to help an international group of former prostitutes for more than 10 years.
She said the international day idea came from the group, which has dedicated itself to job alternatives, drug rehabilitation and educating people on what it’s like to work as a prostitute.
“The mainstream media doesn’t really like to think about it,” Simonton said. “(It) would rather think about the ‘happy whore’ or ‘Pretty Woman’ syndrome, and how much fun a prostitute has and how it’s good for her.”
The proclamation calls prostitution an act of violence against women and a human-rights violation that “creates the false notion that human females are commodities to be bought and sold.”
Krohn said his focus remains on local issues such as preserving the $8.4 million-a-year utility tax, adding that proclamations take up little time at council sessions.
Contact Dan White at dwhite (at)

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