This morning, I joined a number of my colleagues from City Council to sign Ordinance 2020-0074 into law, a major step toward ending human and sex trafficking crimes in Jacksonville.
Appallingly, the State of Florida ranks third in the nation for reported cases of human trafficking abuses, and Jacksonville has the third highest number of cases in the state. Research shows that the victims of these crimes are more likely to be trafficked by someone from within his or her community, and that the average age of a sex trafficking victim is 17. This simply shouldn't happen in our community.
That’s why I stand in full support of this legislation we’re signing today, championed by Councilwoman LeAnna Cumber, Councilman Tommy Hazouri and the co-sponsors of this important legislation.
This bill will help curb these crimes in our community by requiring work identification cards for all performers in adult entertainment establishments, and by raising the minimum age of performers from 18 to 21. It will also give survivors of these crimes a larger voice and a bigger role in how Jacksonville addresses these crimes in the future, through the creation of the Sex Trafficking Survivors Leadership Council.
Again, I am grateful to the City Council for leading on this issue and am proud to support this effort with my signature. This is how we end human & sex trafficking in Jacksonville: by working together to develop and implement innovative solutions.