Mayor, State Senator respond to recent announcement on
SEATTLE - Mayor Mike McGinn, State Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles and Seattle Police Department Assistant Chief Jim Pugel today responded to this week's announcement on the ownership of the Seattle Weekly and Backpage.com.
"We appreciate the decision by the Seattle Weekly to disassociate from Backpage.com," said McGinn. "But the fact remains that Backpage.com continues to be an accelerant of the sexual exploitation of children. I remain committed to working with state leaders and mayors across the country to stop Backpage.com's abhorrent profit-driven practices."
Given the change in the Seattle Weekly's ownership and practices, the mayor has notified city departments that they may now resume advertising in the publication.
"I'm delighted that I'll be reading Seattle Weekly again! And I compliment its new owners for doing the right thing," said Kohl-Welles. "It's unfortunate, though, that Backpage.com's priority is its $21 million annual revenue in adult escort services ads over ensuring minors are not being sold for sex in such ads. By requiring age verification of those depicted in the ads, Backpage.com's revenue would have a relatively small impact, but it would join other advertisers, such as Craig's List and The Stranger, in standing against advertising commercial sexual abuse of a minor. Instead it chose to sue the state to block implementation of our new law, Senate Bill 6521, creating a new crime of advertising commercial sexual abuse of a minor but permitting an affirmative defense if the defendant documents that it had verified the age of the person being depicted in ads. I join the mayor in calling on Backpage.com to totally end its role in the sex trafficking of minors."
The mayor also announced that he has directed his Office of Intergovernmental Relations (OIR) to continue working with mayors across the country that have joined the effort to fight the sexual exploitation of minors on Backpage.com. Based on the success to pressure Village Voice Media to change its policies, Mayor McGinn is urging mayors across the country to continue their efforts to fight the sexual exploitation of children on Backpage.Com.
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