35 Mayors Support Fight Against Sex Trafficking

Posted by on June 19, 2015 in Press Release

Mayors Sign Resolution to Target Demand for Paid Sex; Call on Federal Government to Provide Resources to Prosecute Sex Buyers and Traffickers and Support Victims

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, June 19, 2015—Thirty-five mayors from across the country, including Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, and New York, came together today in support of demand reduction tactics to end commercial sexual exploitation. They also call on Congress and the Obama Administration to fully implement the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, providing much needed funding to law enforcement agencies and victim support services.

In advance of this weekend’s 83rd Annual Conference of Mayors in San Francisco, the bipartisan group of mayors signed a resolution advocating for aggressive anti-trafficking interventions that focus on targeting sex buyers in order to mitigate the associated public safety, economic, and health risks the nation’s cities experience as a result of the illegal sex trade.

“We applaud the mayors’ commitment and hope the resolution gains even more support when it comes up for a vote on Monday,” said Ziba Cranmer, Executive Director of Demand Abolition, a non-profit working to eliminate the harms created by commercial sexual exploitation by reducing the demand for purchased sex. “Their dedication to ending sexual exploitation nationwide is commendable and their recognition that focusing on the sex buyers in their cities will play a key role in this fight shows an advance understanding of this complex issue.”

Sponsored by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, the resolution urges that all anti-trafficking strategies hold sex buyers, pimps, and traffickers accountable for fueling a deeply damaging industry while providing services to help prostituted people find alternative means of support. In addition to citywide strategies, the resolution also calls on the federal government to fully implement the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act.

JVTA is the first comprehensive bill to address the domestic trafficking of American citizens, providing funding for survivor services—partially paid for with dollars collected from convicted sex buyers and traffickers—as well as new tools for law enforcement to investigate and prosecute trafficking crimes in local jurisdictions, widely considered the frontlines in the national fight against sex trafficking and sex-buying.

The signing mayors include: Agawam Mayor Richard Cohen; Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed; Attleboro Mayor Kevin Dumas; Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake; Boston Mayor Marty Walsh; Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel; Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman; Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings; Denver Mayor Michael Hancock; Easthampton Mayor Karen Cadieux; Houston Mayor Annise Parker; Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman; Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; Madison Mayor Paul Soglin; Malden Mayor Gary Christenson; National City Mayor Ron Morrison; New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell; New York Mayor Bill de Blasio; Newton Mayor Setti Warren; North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright; Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz; Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf; Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter; Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton; Pittsfield Mayor Daniel Bianchi; Portland, ME Mayor Michael Brennan; Portland, OR Mayor Charlie Hales; Revere Mayor Dan Rizzo; Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker; San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer; Seattle Mayor Ed Murray; Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno; Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland; Waltham Mayor Jeanette McCarthy; and West Springfield Mayor Edward Sullivan.

Eleven of these mayors represent cities in a pioneering network launched in February called Cities Empowered Against Sexual Exploitation (CEASE). Catalyzed by Demand Abolition, these cities are committed to reducing the demand for illegal sex in their communities by 20 percent within two years.