Many of you know I am a city councilman in Macon, GA. In 2007, when I ran for office, the only issue that I really talked about was the proliferation of Asian themed massage parlors in Macon. We had, two years ago, more per capita than either San Francisco or Washington, D.C.
While many people wanted to discuss these spas as they related to prostitution and whether or not it should be legal, I was and ma very concerned that too many of them fit the profile of fronts for human trafficking.
Two years ago, when I got elected to Macon's city council, I began working on shutting these places down. My life and property were threatened, I had several threats of lawsuits to bankrupt me, but I was not giving up.
Just two weeks ago our local paper told the story of one police raid. A spa "employee" had all the signs of being trafficked. Among those signs are forcing the massagist to sleep at the business, not allowing her to leave the premises unescorted, and shuffling her around to multiple businesses in a short amount of time to avoid regular interaction with regular customers.
We've seen that. I've been called a religious Nazi, American Taliban, religious fundamentalist, and a puritan.
But tonight, I won. After two years, over 60 arrests, and seeing the number of these businesses dwindle from over 20 to 11, my legislation was finally passed by city council in an 11 to 1 vote.
Today is a very good day.