Owners pushback against Waco's proposed strip club ordinance - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

WACO

Owners pushback against Waco's proposed strip club ordinance

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WACO - Emotions ran high at a Waco public meeting as the city met with owners and dancers to discuss a new proposed ordinance targeted at "sexually oriented businesses."

The current ordinance hasn't been updated in nearly 30 years and the city says it's time. But strip club owners and employees says the proposed changes could put them out of business.

If the new ordinance is passed, it would ban nudity, put an end to lap dances and mandate anyone who works in the industry to obtain a license.

Jesus Said Love leader Kristi Cruthird says requiring registration is demeaning to the women who work at these clubs. Her organization ministers to strippers at all Waco strip clubs and in five other cities.

Wendy, a dancer who works at Sonny's says the new ordinance will affect her livelihood.

"I have a problem with the fact that the restrictions that they want to put on what we do are going to affect our money greatly,” says Wendy. “We can't accept tips in the state of nudity? We’re strippers! It’s what we do."

"If ultimately they're not feeling like their self worth is recognized or that the dignity of them is being put down in anyway, that's how I feel like they will be affected," says Cruthird.

But the city says it's necessary to make sure no underage girls are working in the clubs.

Waco building official Randy Childers says the main reason for the new ordinance is to ensure clubs aren't facilitating prostitution.

"Our intent was just to make it uniform across the board, not to have one set of regulations for one type of club and another set of regulations for another type of club."

But not everyone agrees it’s a problem.

"This proposal is so prejudicial against the people that do my job. And I don't appreciate being told that I have to register like some kind of criminal," says Wendy. 

Under the new regulations any violation would be a class "A" misdemeanor which could be up to a $4,000 fine and up to a year in jail.

Waco City Council will discuss the ordinance and the public’s comments at their April 1 meeting, but no action will be taken.

Click here for more information on the strip club ordinance
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