Minneapolis City Council Prepares to Pass Ordinance Protecting Adult Entertainers: ‘Sex Work Is Work’


The Minneapolis City Council is poised to pass an ordinance that would improve the working conditions of adult entertainers (strippers) in the city.

The ordinance unanimously passed the Public Health, Environment, Civil Rights, and Engagement Committee during a Monday night meeting, and will now head to the full council for consideration. The full city council is expected to vote on the measure next week.

Video of Monday night’s meeting shows the council chambers filled with members of the Sex Workers Outreach Project of Minneapolis, called SWOP for short.

The protesters were holding signs that said “Minneapolis Supports Strippers.”

According to the city council, Minneapolis has 17 adult entertainment establishments, 14 of which “offer live nude or semi-nude performances.”

Part of the issue, supporters of the ordinance say, is that strippers are hired as independent contractors rather than employees. Under the ordinance, strip clubs would be prohibited from requiring strippers to “share gratuities” with their employers, a common requirement in strip clubs.

Additionally, the ordinance seeks to improve the safety and cleanliness of strip clubs by requiring security cameras on the premises and escorts to walk entertainers to their cars after each shift.

“All establishments shall perform a criminal history record check on all managers and security staff, as well as any candidates for such positions, using a service or method approved by the licensing official, and no person with a criminal conviction within the previous five years for a qualified domestic violence-related offense…shall be permitted to serve in such a capacity,” the ordinance states.

In terms of sanitary requirements, the ordinance states that “any spill involving bodily fluids shall be immediately cleaned by a non-entertainer staff member with an approved sanitizer using appropriate personal protective equipment.”

“Standard procedures to address such spills including staff training shall be developed and maintained by the establishment,” it adds.

The ordinance also prevents establishments from installing doors or curtains “over the entrance” to any VIP room.

“No couches, sofas or other furniture designed for seating and greater than four feet in length may be present in any such space. No bed, daybed, futon, mattress or other piece of furniture designed for sleeping may be present in any such space, nor may any sheets or bedding be present,” it continues.

Councilmember Andrea Jenkins told The Star Tribune that passing the ordinance will help to “really lift up and support all sex workers.”

“This may be a radical statement coming from a council member, but sex work is work,” said Committee Chair Phillipe Cunningham.

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Minneapolis Supports Strippers” by SWOP Minneapolis. 



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