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Chateauvert said dancers tend to be nomadic, and stripping often offers fast, easy, legal money.
This isn’t a long-term career, she said, and licensing “creates a public record, and when even the most law-abiding citizens are prevented from getting jobs, clear credit checks, passports, visas, loans, apartments …
“What the ordinance says is that they should require instructor-led classroom training and a computer video tutorial on human trafficking, domestic violence, sexual assault,” Anderson said.
Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson said this isn’t the first time the public records for exotic dancers debate has been raised locally.
because they have some undisclosed item in their public records — records that, mind you, cannot be challenged, changed or removed.” “This leads to second-class citizenship,” she said, also calling it “institutional slut shaming.” While dancers in cities across the country are forming unions and winning multimillion dollar lawsuits for unfair fees and wages, licensing is one issue that Chateauvert said is tough to organize around.
“The movement, such as it is, hasn’t coalesced around a particular position,” she said, “because the government bureaucracies that issue the licenses vary so widely.” Theresa (also not her real name), a Seattle exotic dancer who volunteers with the local chapter of the Sex Worker Outreach Project, said that when issues like the Van Vleet case pop up, it makes dancers question the process of licensing. But it carries its own danger — that dancers will gravitate toward riskier but less traceable job opportunities.
Last year Robert Hill, a Tacoma prisoner with a history of stalking, made a similar records request.
Licenses were first required for dancers here in 1987, she said, after law enforcement “observed criminal activity happening.” Melinda Chateauvert, author of Sex Workers Unite, noted that while licenses are intended to verify age, it also suggests dancers have gone through some kind of formal occupational training.
“I’m not somebody that’s going to harm the women,” he told KIRO-TV.