2006 Seattle Elections
General Elections Voters' Guide
Referendum 1 - Adult Entertainment Regulation - Statement For And Rebuttal
Statement For Referendum Measure No. 1
Vote YES on Referendum 1.
Make no mistake. This is not about “freedom of speech”. Ordinance #121952 is a common sense regulation for a high crime industry. Your YES vote sends a clear message to these business owners that uncontrolled, unmonitored growth of the sex industry in Seattle is not acceptable.
Why should you care? Seattle’s 17-year moratorium preventing new strip clubs from opening was recently struck down. The Mayor and City Council responded by passing Ordinance #121952 to protect our communities. In a last ditch effort, three individuals financed this referendum petition. They know the stakes. If Ordinance #121952 is repealed, the only regulation Seattle has to effectively police current strip clubs and discourage new clubs from opening near you would be gone
Do you want this in your neighborhood? Gunfire, burglaries, vandalism, public urination, assault, prostitution, drunken fighting, and used condoms, broken bottles and drug paraphernalia thrown in backyards - all reported impacts at current clubs. In one two year period Vice reported 144 criminal incidents at just ONE strip club.
These clubs open during school hours and much of this activity occurs in club parking lots, spilling over onto neighborhood streets. Over 10,000 of our children go to school within walking distance of current clubs. Do you want your children to witness such activities?
What happens in these clubs is very close to prostitution. As the Seattle PI reported, “Although touching is supposedly forbidden, in the less-lighted recesses of at least two of the clubs, men reported seeing ‘dancers’ opening patrons’ pants, putting on condoms and, at the very least, rubbing private parts through men’s clothing to the point of some tough laundry stains.” (10Dec03). Without Ordinance #121952, the only way detectives can establish whether a violation has occurred is literally to pay for a dance. Do you want to continue spending your tax dollars on lap dances?
A YES vote on Referendum 1 will minimize these problems. It’s a common sense law that can be enforced visually, save tax dollars and bring Seattle up to neighboring city standards. Bellevue, Federal Way, Tukwila, Shoreline and SeaTac all have similar regulations.
What about free speech and First Amendment rights? They are preserved. These laws have been well tested judicially. U.S. courts have determined that proximity and touching in the context of nude dancing are not protected speech.
Help our Police. Protect your Community. Vote YES on Referendum 1.
STATEMENT SUBMITTED BY: Vic Webbeking, Committee for Reasonable Regulations, www.WeAreMoreThanOneAndWeTellTheTruth.org
Rebuttal of Statement For
Committee for Reasonable Regulations? This one-man committee has a long history of trying to shut down strip clubs in Seattle. Let’s check the facts: in the last five years there have been no convictions at any of the Seattle clubs for drug dealing or prostitution. ZERO. Adult nightclubs have no greater impact on neighborhoods than other businesses with nighttime hours. Don’t just take our word; this was the finding of the Seattle Planning Commission. By comparison, Fred Meyer on Lake City Way has several times more police calls than Ricks, and recent studies show no negative impact on property values near these clubs. The proposed new regulations impose unreasonable restrictions on clubs that are already well-regulated and give the City an easy pretext to arbitrarily shut them down. This is censorship pure and simple. As one Council member commented “we can be prudent without being prudes.” Reject Referendum 1!
STATEMENT SUBMITTED BY: Jack Burns, Gil Levy, Tim Killian