High above Sunset Boulevard in an exclusive West Hollywood club Jada Pinkett Smith, actress and celebrity, was on hand last week for a lovely and informative tea to chat with fellow moms about our kids. But this wasn't just another social obligation or personal appearance. Jada was there to moderate a serious talk about human trafficking in California and what can be done to stop it with the power of Proposition 35.
|Jada Pinkett Smith and me, Image by Valerie Mitchell, Sweeps4Bloggers|
|The day of the event the weather was beautiful in West Hollywood|
|Sumptuous scones, sandwiches, and other treats served at tea|
|Survivor and founder of Bridget's Dream|
Then there was the Public Service Announcement screening which included among others, the story of an 11 year-old girl who was kidnapped, tortured and forced to work as a prostitute for several years before being reunited with her family. And when I thought I'd heard the worst of it, a sweet woman now off the streets told us how her own mother traded her for crack when she was just 4 years old and how she held captive by the sex trade for fear of her life for many years until she finally was able to break free.
Listen to that once-upon-a-time 4 year-old's story told by the actual woman who lived it in this short video clip:
Modern slavery -- otherwise known as human trafficking of mostly women and children ---- is not only alive and well in other parts of the world but in the U.S. as well. In fact, it was particularly alarming for me to discover that this horrific crime is most serious and epidemic right here in my own California backyard in the cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego where the FBI says it has identified some of the highest intensity child sex trafficking activities in the nation.
|Two brave survivors (center) with The Moms; Jada & Sharmin Bock|
|A Mom & Dad put a face on families torn apart by human trafficking|
|Jada with the Prop 35 Team L to R: C. Kelly, S. Bock, D. Phung|
That's where California Proposition 35, officially the Californians Against Sexual Exploitation CASE Act, comes in.
The passage of Prop 35 will
- Increase prison sentences for human trafficking convictions
- Require convicted human traffickers to register as sex offenders
- Require registered sex offenders to disclose all their Internet activities
- Require criminal fines from convicted human traffickers to pay for services to help victims
- Mandate greater law enforcement leading to the apprehension of more sex traffickers
As a mother of four children I can't stand by and do nothing. I encourage you to do the same and take action on Election Day. Go to the polls and yes, Vote Yes on Prop 35. All of our children are counting on us to pass this proposition.
|Everyone who attended received one of these Goody Bags|
|Gift Bag including Bartenura Wine, Julep Blues for a Cause + more|
|Jada with event organizers Melissa Gerstein & Denise Albert, The Moms|
Proposition 35 is a joint partnership of California Against Slavery (CAS) and Safer California Foundation.
FTC Disclosure: I was invited to this hosted Mamarazzi event by the Vote Yes on Prop 35 team and Denise Albert and Melissa Gerstein from The Moms. I received a gift bag at the event but I did not receive payment associated with this post. See complete FTC Disclosure information that appears at the bottom of MommyBlogExpert's main page and at the bottom of every individual post on this blog, including this one.