Uneven fight against human trafficking — San Francisco Public Press Issue #6


Michael Stoll, executive director
Lila LaHood, publisher
(415) 495-7377, news (AT) sfpublicpress (DOT) org


SAN FRANCISCO — The Bay Area’s battle against the scourge of human trafficking has been hampered by state inaction because of budget cuts and internal competition among an array of local law enforcement agencies and nonprofits that work on the issue. As a result, some counties arrest hundreds of traffickers and some hardly any; and victim services providers often have strained relations with the police.

Those are among the findings of a team reporting project in the Spring 2012 print edition of the San Francisco Public Press, hitting newsstands on Feb. 15. Stories will also be rolled out at sfpublicpress.org/trafficking over the following two weeks. This issue features a 10,000-word special section on human trafficking produced in collaboration with New America Media and the San Francisco bilingual newspaper El Tecolote.

Stories in the package, to go online through Feb. 23, explain why a 2005 California law that made trafficking illegal fell far short of the criminal punishments imposed by other states, and why a citizen initiative is trying to amend that law on the November ballot. Another story, produced by New America Media, explains why the current reform stems back 10 years to the horrific Berkeley “sex slavery” case, in which a wealthy abuser got only eight years in prison and is now free.

The Spring 2012 print issue also features stories about the Healthy San Francisco universal health care program, and how its future could be drastically changed by President Obama’s national health initiative. The issue also tackles the peril facing community gardens in the Bayview, ranked-choice voting and the transit chaos anticipated during the America’s Cup races.

In addition to its own independent, nonpartisan reporting, the Public Press brings quality reporting from other nonprofit media to new audiences. Also in the newspaper are articles and radio transcripts from more than a dozen local public-media and civic organizations, including KQED, KALW, California Watch, Bay Nature and Oakland Local.

The 16-page full-color broadsheet newspaper will be available for $1 at more than 50 retail locations throughout the Bay Area. For locations, visit https://sfpublicpress.org/where-to-buy-the-newspaper. Copies can be ordered online for $4 at https://sfpublicpress.org/order-a-copy-of-the-newspaper.

The San Francisco Public Press was launched online in 2009 and in print in 2010. Its mission is to enrich civic life in San Francisco by delivering public-interest journalism to broad and diverse audiences through print and interactive media not supported by advertising.

The Public Press receives major funding from the San Francisco Foundation, and has received financial support from KQED, the Center for Public Integrity, the California Endowment and more than 500 individual donors. A one-year membership starts at $35. Donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. The Public Press is fiscally sponsored by Independent Arts & Media of San Francisco, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

– 30 –




Don't miss out on our newest articles, episodes and events!
Sign up for our newsletter