- Letters to the Editor
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The recent decision by the city’s Planning Commission to allow go-go dancers should be looked at in terms of labor and liability for all practical purposes.
The city was asked by one of its businesses whether it could lawfully employ a unique kind of worker – the go-go dancer. Outside of Hollywood and Las Vegas, a go-go dancer is not your average worker like an accountant, gardener, cook, lawyer, nurse, or cashier is. What makes a go-go dancer unique is the liability he or she presents in relation to the functionality and purpose he or she accomplishes for the community.
Downey is a small city with limited resources, so it must be careful and highly conscientious about the kinds of workers it permits. After all, every worker presents a certain amount of liability or potential damage for the city, the police, and the employer to deal with at some point.
It is easier to explain how useful an accountant, gardener, cook, lawyer, nurse, or cashier is to businesses and the community at large and thus easier to justify permitting these workers to do their work in light of the liabilities they present. An accountant is capable of immense fraud. A gardener’s machinery could injure property, pets, and pedestrians. A cook can start a grease fire. A lawyer could bilk clients. A nurse could mishandle patients. Cashiers often give-out change incorrectly at the expense of the patron or the boss. Despite these risks, we allow these workers in Downey because the probabilities of harm are outweighed by the needs of thousands of clients and customers.
It is probably true that thousands of people are not in need of go-go dancers in Downey. The potential for harm is substantial considering the night-life environment in which these nearly naked young men and women will be working in. The potential for harm to themselves and others is evident.
Go-go dancers could be subject to physical and emotional distress from just a few disorderly patrons under the influence of alcohol. Without much to wear, go-go dancers are susceptible to greater injury from glass, wires, stage props, and other materials in the dimly lighted work area.
If I were Downey, I would try to model myself like the cities of Cerritos, Los Alamitos, South Pasadena, and San Marino and leave the go-go dancing to Hollywood and Las Vegas.
Published: July 31, 2014 – Volume 13 – Issue 16