A measure that would make it more difficult to investigate and punish prostitution crimes in San Francisco qualified for the November ballot on Friday, opening another passage in the city’s long fight over decriminalizing the sex-trade industry.
Proponents of the measure were able to collect more than 12,000 signatures, including those from three members of the Board of Supervisors, to put it on the ballot, according to the Erotic Service Providers Union, the labor group backing the measure. The same group was unsuccessful in putting a similar measure on the ballot in 2006.
Mayor Gavin Newsom this week said the measure would severely hamper the city’s ability to investigate and prosecute sex-trafficking cases. According to the measure’s wording, it would prohibit the city from spending money on sex-traffic investigations that involve racial profiling.
“It would make it very challenging to investigate and prosecute human trafficking,” agreed San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris. "We need to use police resources to investigate where there is a suspicion that women and children, in particular immigrants, are being exploited.