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Dancing around the issues

first_imgTwo years ago, the Los Angeles City Council adopted a controversial lap-dance ban after many hours of public hearings, heated debates and protests from angry strippers and club owners. Council members didn’t technically ban the dances, of course. Instead, they created a rule that patrons couldn’t get closer than six feet to the dancers, thus creating a de facto ban they knew was unenforceable for all intents and purposes. Then, just a couple of months later, they unadopted the ordinance after it became clear strip-club supporters were threatening lawsuits and gathering signatures to put the ban on the ballot. Intimidated as usual, the council chose the wiser course of enforcing existing laws against strip clubs that actually are disrupting neighborhoods and going way over the line of common decency. The whole fiasco provided good paydays to lobbyists, lawyers and consultants – as well as some handy campaign cash to some politicians. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Business for these folks must not be so good because the ban crusade is back. Emboldened by the court’s support of a similar strict “no-touch” rule in La Habra, city officials are again seeking to strip strippers of the popular and lucrative lap-dancing feature of clubs. On Tuesday, the Police Commission endorsed it unanimously; it will next go to the City Council’s public safety committee. The entire ban saga began with legitimate complaints from people who live near a few Westside clubs and were upset with the lewd acts that sometimes spilled into the community. Instead of dealing with these particular nuisances, city officials decided to make political hay by declaring that unenforceable regulations on lap dancing would somehow put an end to all that is bad in the city – to prostitution, drug usage, violence toward women and other crimes. The subtext was, then, that banning the lap dance would render the city’s many strip clubs as wholesome as the gym. Give us a break. The lap-dancing attacks are nothing more than distraction from the real issues that bring down the quality of life in Los Angeles – things like kids getting shot on the way home from school, unsafe housing conditions, sweatshops where immigrants are exploited, streets that are literally falling apart, lack of good jobs, to name a few. Lap dancing, sex clubs, the nation’s pornography industry – those are symbols of the unhealthy state of the city, not the cause of its deterioration. Instead of creating another circus over the ground rules for lap dancing, city officials should start to work grappling with the big issues that actually affect the lives of millions of residents every day. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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