NYC's Mayor Bloomberg Would Not Want to Be Treated like a Prostitute

NYC cab drivers who have been convicted of sex trafficking-related felonies will now be penalized under a new law which will raise fines on drivers who run what the city calls "brothels on wheels." Drivers applying for or renewing their licenses will also be educated about how to spot trafficking victims and the penalties they'll face if caught helping traffickers commute.

The law's supporters say its purpose is to combat sex trafficking. "We are recognizing ... the unconscionable and cruel role that taxi drivers and livery drivers are playing in this brutal attack, that keeps people trapped (and) takes their lives away from them," City Council Speaker Christine Quinn explained at a news conference. But Mayor Bloomberg has some doubts, because if he were "a young lady" dressed "in a sporty way" he would not want anyone to think he was ready for business.

"I started to think for a second, if I were a young lady and I dressed in a sporty way - or how you'd want to phrase it - and there's nothing wrong with that. Maybe it's not appropriate to go to a workplace, but at night, sometimes sure, why not?" Mr. Bloomberg mused on John Gambling's radio show this morning. "I would not want somebody thinking that I'm a prostitute."

Kudos to Bloomberg for reading up on SlutWalk philosophy. But it looks like he didn't really understand the point of the bill.

EDIT: neither did we. Here's some more information about the law:

The law will discourage drivers from engaging in crimes involving sex trafficking, which entail actively participating in and profiting from coerced prostitution. A driver must first be criminally convicted of one of the enumerated felony crimes under existing penal law before being subject to the civil penalties of this law. Picking up a passenger in the ordinary course of business does not implicate the State penal law and does not trigger the provisions of this bill. The bill only applies if a driver is convicted of a felony related to sex trafficking.

Laurel Eisner, Executive Director of Sanctuary for Families, wrote in to clarify further:

The law will not discourage drivers from picking up "sex workers" or women dressed in any particular way. The law will discourage drivers from engaging in crimes involving sex trafficking, which entail actively participating in and profiting from coerced prostitution. A driver must first be criminally convicted of one of the enumerated felony crimes under existing penal law before being subject to the civil penalties of this law. Picking up a passenger in the ordinary course of business does not implicate the State penal law and does not trigger the provisions of this bill.

Bloomberg: ‘If I Were A Young Lady … I Would Not Want Somebody Thinking That I'm A Prostitute' [Politicker]

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