Haute 100 Update: Gov. Andrew Cuomo Taking Steps to Clean Up New York, Signs Bill Targeting Sex Trade

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Governor Andrew Cuomo has taken a step in countering New York’s “thriving local sex trade” by signing a bill to ban the distribution of cards that depict sexually suggestive pictures of women to promote prostitution. These cards, called “Chica Chica” cards, advertise “hookers that make house calls” and are now illegal to distribute.

The cards are usually handed out by individuals whispering, “Chicas, chicas” (Spanish word for “girls”) as they do so to get one’s attention, and the cards depict scantily-clad women and bear slogans like “Delivery in Queens” and provide contact information for pimps who arrange the service.

State Senator Jose Peralta introduced the bill in response to an uproar by parents and the community with the sex trade that seems to be flourishing locally. The effort particularly targets a stretch of more than 40 blocks of Roosevelt Avenue and mandated that a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail be issued to individuals who hand out the lewd cards anywhere in New York State.

Peralta explained, “Roosevelt Avenue is plagued by problems like prostitution, handing out these cards and fake IDs. I want to transform Roosevelt Avenue, take it back piece by piece. Every morning, school children picked up those cards from the streets and traded them like baseball cards.”

He adds, “This is an important first step in what needs to become an all-out offensive against the prostitution problem and other quality-of-life issues that have long plagued Roosevelt Avenue.”

Although the law does not go into effect until next month, it has been reported that there have been far fewer sightings of the cards since the law was introduced.

Our Haute 100 list details the accomplishments of the most influential people in each of our markets. To see the entire Haute 100 New York list, click here.

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