Rantz: Seattle Council candidates say ‘decriminalize’ sex work

Jul 8, 2019, 6:04 AM | Updated: 6:04 am

Labor-backed council candidate Tammy Morales announced on Twitter that she would like to decriminalize sex work in Seattle. She’s not the only candidate.

Morales, a Socialist running again in District 2, explained her position after Mistress Matisse, a dominatrix and owner of cannabis-based lube Velvet Swing, asked if there was a message she could send to a “large and diverse sex work community in Seattle.”

Morales eagerly responded: “Decriminalize so workers feel safe calling police, can access healthcare and banking; protect sex workers by not conflating consensual sex work w/ trafficking; enforce and prosecute traffickers to end expolitation [sic]. Ready to listen if there should be more!”

Harsh reality of Seattle prostitution
Sex workers march to Seattle City Hall

This would likely be a step too far for the current Council, especially given the much more pressing issues facing the city. But, if Morales lands on the Council with activists incumbents Lisa Herbold and Kshama Sawant, we may very well have to waste our time debating this fringe position. Last time she ran, she narrowly lost, making her the likely front-runner going into the primary.

How do the other candidates in District 2 feel about the topic? I asked.

Business owner Ari Hoffman is very much against the idea.

“We know that Washington state has one of the highest rates of Human Trafficking in the nation,” Hoffman explained to the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. “Women were recently found in servitude in Chinatown raids. …We know that prostitution rings were being run out of RV’s near cemeteries and near my office in Georgetown. We have effectively decriminalized drug use in Seattle and look what has happened on our streets. To do the same with sex work while our city is grappling with these challenges is naive and dangerous”

Mark Solomon, Former crime prevention coordinator with the Seattle Police Department, takes a different approach than Hoffman.

“I’ve been in many countries where sex work was legal and well regulated,” Solomon told me via email. “Safety was paramount and Healthcare access and STD screening was the norm. Those societies did not collapse. I would support decriminalization. Let’s have the discussion. No tolerance for sexual exploiters or traffickers.”

Chris Peguero, a Seattle City Light employee and candidate, takes a similar position.

Seattle sex workers: ‘We’re not all victims’

“Our campaign is supportive of the decriminalization of sex work,” Peguero told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. “New Zealand decriminalized sex work in 2003 and saw the immediate public health benefits with the decrease in HIV (46 percent) and gonorrhea (40 percent) transmission and acts rape and sexual assault (30 percent). Decriminalization increases trust between law enforcement and sex workers and the ability for law enforcement to prosecute human trafficking. Our campaign believes that sex between two consenting adults should not be criminalized by the state.”

Phyllis Porter did not respond to my email request for comment. Henry Clay Dennison does not have a website so I wasn’t able to reach out to him for comment. I chose not to ask candidate Omari Tahir-Garrett, an anti-Semite who told a local Jewish businessman to “go back to Germany” so that he could “let them Nazis get you again.” I don’t care his position on this, or any other issue.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
  • listen to jason rantzTune in to AM 770 KTTH weekdays at 3-6pm toThe Jason Rantz Show.

Jason Rantz Show

Jason Rantz

Jason Rantz

Rantz: WA Dept of Health defends mocking a death, then censors critic

WADOH mocked the death of a Washingtonian in a tone-deaf tweet. After criticism, the department triple-downed on the message.
1 day ago
police pursuit...
Frank Sumrall

Redmond’s new police tech working in tandem with WA pursuit laws

Redmond police have introduced a new GPS-monitoring technology to help track and locate criminals attempting to flee a crime scene.
1 day ago
Decatur High School...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: High School staffer faces investigation for alleged sex with student

A high school staff member is on leave pending the results of a police investigation. He's accused of having sexual contact with a student.
1 day ago
elementary school club...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Elementary school bans white students from ‘safe space’ club

A local elementary school has a student club that excludes students based on their race, according to a parent.
2 days ago
Frank Sumrall

State Rep: ‘None of these locations are suitable’ for a future airport

According to Jason Rantz, the acting chairman of CACC, Warren Hendrickson, stated he believes none of the airport locations will move forward.
4 days ago
Frank Sumrall

Ballard brewery owner nearly loses business to homeless fire

Bad Jimmy’s Brewing Co. in Ballard was nearly destroyed after a fire created by a homeless person nearly engulfed the property in flames.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Rantz: Seattle Council candidates say ‘decriminalize’ sex work