Statement from Prop 35 Campaign Regarding ACLU Lawsuit following Landmark Victory on Election Day 2012

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The Prop 35 campaign issued the following statements in reaction today’s lawsuit filed by the ACLU. Prop 35, which passed with overwhelming support from voters, the highest margin of victory in California in decades, is an initiative that will fight back against human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of women and children in the state

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“Last night, the voters of the State of California made Proposition 35 the most popular initiative in the history of our state. " - Chris Kelly, Former Chief Privacy Officer, Facebook & Founder, Safer California Foundation

The Prop 35 campaign issued the following statements in reaction today’s lawsuit filed by the ACLU. Prop 35, which passed with overwhelming support from voters, the highest margin of victory in California in decades, is an initiative that will fight back against human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of women and children in the state. More than 81% of voters (approx. 7.3 million people) voted in favor of Prop 35 in yesterday’s election.

Prop 35 proponents noted that suits like the one filed have regularly been rejected by courts, including most relevantly by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Doe v. Shurtleff. (http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-10th-circuit/1542569.html)

Leah Albright-Byrd, Human Trafficking Survivor and Advocate:
“Californians overwhelmingly said they stand by survivors and victims of human trafficking. Prop 35 was designed to protect vulnerable women and children from exploitation on-line and off-line. It will finally bring justice for those who have lived through these horrific crimes.”

Chris Kelly, Former Chief Privacy Officer, Facebook & Founder, Safer California Foundation:
“Last night, the voters of the State of California made Proposition 35 the most popular initiative in the history of our state.

The ACLU and EFF challenge to Proposition 35 is an attack on the very idea of sex offender registration requirements to protect kids and adults alike. Proposition 35 follows the pioneering approach I first took with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo of extending these longstanding registration requirements to include online identifiers so law enforcement has better information to fight trafficking and apply the law online.

The ACLU's claims have been previously litigated many times, and courts have repeatedly rejected their fanciful and dangerous misinterpretations of the Constitution.”

Daphne Phung, Founder, California Against Slavery:
“A broad coalition of survivors, advocates, law enforcement and now millions of Californians supported this initiative to stop human trafficking and stand with survivors. Our first priority is to protect women and children from being trafficked and to use all the legal tools available to protect them on-line and everywhere.”

About Proposition 35 – Stop Human Trafficking in California:
In California, many vulnerable women and young girls are held against their will and forced to sell their bodies. The victims are often girls as young as 12 who are sexually exploited for the financial gain of human traffickers. They are afraid for their lives and abused – sexually, physically, and mentally.    

Human trafficking is said to be one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises in the world – and it is taking place right here in our own backyard. Three cities in California – San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego – are recognized by the FBI as high intensity child sex trafficking areas. In addition, a recent national study by a victims' rights group gave California an "F" grade for its weak laws dealing with child sex trafficking.

Now that it has passed with a resounding majority, Proposition 35, a partnership of California Against Slavery and the Safer California Foundation, will protect children in California by:

  •     Increasing prison terms for human traffickers.
  •     Requiring convicted sex traffickers to register as sex offenders.
  •     Requiring all registered sex offenders to disclose their internet accounts.
  •     Requiring criminal fines from convicted human traffickers to pay for services to help victims.

Proposition 35 was endorsed by organizations representing over 95,000 rank and file California Peace Officers, advocates for the protection of children, including Marc Klaas and the KlaasKids Foundation, and victims who survived sexual exploitation when they were children.

Prop 35 earned strong bipartisan support and was endorsed by both major political parties in California. For comprehensive information on Proposition 35, visit http://www.VoteYesOn35.com.

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About Proposition 35 – Stop Human Trafficking in California
Proposition 35 – Stop Human Trafficking in California was a joint partnership of California Against Slavery and the Safer California Foundation. Passed with 81% of the vote on the November 2012 ballot, Proposition 35 will fight back against human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of women and children. It increases penalties against human traffickers and online predators, requires convicted sex traffickers to register as sex offenders, requires all registered sex offenders to provide the authorities with information about their internet accounts, and uses the fines against convicted traffickers to pay for victim services. For more information, visit http://www.VoteYesOn35.com.

About California Against Slavery
California Against Slavery (CAS) is a non-partisan human rights organization dedicated to ending human trafficking, starting where we live. The organization’s mission is to defend the freedom of every child, woman and man by empowering the people of California to fulfill our obligation to stop human trafficking. For more information, visit http://www.californiaagainstslavery.org.

About the Safer California Foundation
The Safer California Foundation is dedicated to supporting efforts to protect Californians from all forms of criminal exploitation. Created by Chris Kelly, former Facebook Chief Privacy Officer and a Silicon Valley attorney and philanthropist, the Safer California Foundation looks forward to the day when every neighborhood in California is as safe as our most secure neighborhoods today.

Paid for by Vote Yes on 35: Stop Human Trafficking in California, a coalition of survivors, children & human rights advocates, law enforcement & community groups, sponsored by California Against Slavery and Safer California Foundation. Major funding by Chris Kelly and the Peace Officers Research Association of California.

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