Exotic dancers swarm N.O. City Hall to fight limit of strip clubs

Published: Jun. 29, 2016 at 12:53 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 29, 2016 at 1:05 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - On Tuesday, exotic dancers and supporters of the adult entertainment industry flooded City Hall after a study ordered by the Planning Commission recommended that New Orleans limit the number of strip clubs.

"If you close 65 percent of these clubs, you're taking these women's jobs dreams and passions away from them," industry supporter Jade Tullier said.

At a packed commission meeting, a majority in attendance opposed a study recommending that the number of strip clubs in New Orleans be reduce from its current number of 23 to seven. The study suggests the city get to that number through attrition, meaning when a club closes or is forced to shut down, the city would not issue another permit to take its place.

The commission study also proposed that reducing the number of strip clubs would reduce the amount of crime.

Some people felt the recommendation would be beneficial.

"Not all clubs are non-compliant. The clubs that are not following the rules, the regulations and laws need to," Covenant House Executive Director Jim Kelly said. "If every club follows the rules, the laws, there will be no closures and they will be no loss of jobs."

"I think there's plenty of evidence that shows there is a correlation between adult entertainment and human trafficking," Eden House Director Susanne Dietzel said.

But most in attendance believed reducing the number of clubs would result in a loss of jobs and would have little or no effect on crime.

"Getting rid of the strip clubs is not going to get rid of the crime. I don't think you think it's going to go or where they think it's going to go," said Samantha Fiel. "It's not going to get rid of the crime. We need to try and fix this at the base of the problem, which is the lack of law enforcement."

The commission is expected to vote on the recommendation next month. If it is passed, the measure would be forwarded to the council for the final decision.

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