This is the letter that I am considering sending to our city council. But rumor has it that the decision has already been made in regards to the further operation of this espresso stand, so maybe I am too late and my opinion is a moot point.
Thank you for clearing most of the last Tuesday's council agenda and opening the floor to public comments. I know that you heard many constituents voice their concern and opposition to the Triple X Espresso stand located in our city. Many of those who spoke admonished you to enforce the codes already in place to protect our children from exposure to semi-nude woman. Debra Long, a school board member for Central Valley School District, even shared how the district has been forced to re-route some of the school buses to avoid going past the espresso stand.
The school district has a responsibility to do all they can to protect the students in their charge. And the city council has a responsibility to protect the members in their community, even when some of those members are too naïve and young to realize they need protection. Protection of the community and citizens is one of the reasons why we have codes and ordinances.
I am not so far removed from being a teen-ager and young adult to not remember how exciting it was to get attention from boys and men. My girlfriends and I had a great time flirting with the college-age guys that would come into our work establishment. It was a lot of fun until the day when some guy read too much into my friendly smile and "would you like fries with that?" and began stalking me. I was fortunate that there was nothing more than a few harassing phone calls and some late night drive-by's when I was working. I remember being scared and worried. But I also remember not wanting to let anyone know because I was afraid that no one would believe me and that somehow I was responsible for this guy's actions.
Now, at the Triple X Espresso stand, you have hormones mixed with scantily clad women and that is certainly more of a recipe for harassment, inappropriate touching and stalking than was my black pants and maroon-striped McDonald's shirt. And since you have not classified this establishment as an adult entertainment establishment, which it should be on Topless Tuesday's and Thursday's, there do not appear to be any special codes or ordinances in place to protect the young women who work at that establishment. If this espresso stand was classified as an adult entertainment establishment, there would be specific codes to protect the workers from touching and harassment.
It would be nice if the owner of the establishment was watching out for her employees; however, a brief look at the messages and pictures that are posted on Facebook demonstrate that the owner, if not encourages, at least allows sexually-suggestive banter and interaction to take place at the Triple X Espresso stand. The owner believes that providing Topless Tuesday's and Thursday's gives her a competitive edge in the crowded espresso stand market. So, anything for a dollar.
In order to protect the young women who work at Triple X Espresso stand, the council should recognize this establishment for what it really is... "live adult entertainment" on Topless Tuesday's and Thursday's and enforce the municipal code (5.10.080) that addresses live adult entertainment. Or ban Topless Tuesday's since those days appear to violate the definition of "seminude" as listed in municipal code 5.10.010.
I still believe that the very nature of this espresso stand places young women at risk for harassment, sexual deviants, and stalking; however, maybe removing the semi-nudity on Tuesday's and Thursday's will offer them some protection from these secondary offenses and make Triple X Espresso stand less of a public nuisance. No one deserves to be harassed and made afraid, even if they chose to wear pasties and a g-string to work.
Thank you for your time and consideration.