Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Sexually-Oriented Businesses

I'm almost hesitant to compose a post on the continuing Mami Chulas saga because the public's commentary on the issue hasn't much changed, but I think it's worth one more stab since the city took on a somewhat dubious approach to it.  Via the LMT.
The ordinance also included in the definition "“a state of dress that fails to completely or opaquely cover a human buttock, anus, male genitalia, female genitals or any part of the female breast or breasts that is situated below a point immediately above the top of the areola."”
If you only read the passage above concerning the beer runs - the ones that are targeted by this new ordinance - then you would have a case to make against the validity of the ordinance.  If I went to buy breakfast tacos at the Conoco gas station and the clerk was wearing a low cut blouse, the store might fall under the auspices of a sexually-oriented business.  But the difference with the thong-wearing, drive thru attendants is that they've been known to offer lap dances.

Wearing a thong, or pasties in public is one thing, but dancing suggestively, and offering gawd knows what else to patrons perhaps makes sense to label that activity as sexually-oriented, thus requiring more scrutiny.

If you think the city is way off on this, then gander at the memo being passed around before the upcoming Grammy Awards.

The Mami Chulas of the world might have their place in society, but they're not necessarily known for their longevity.  Two infamous drive thrus in south Laredo are not open anymore.  And a couple near the Civic Center area that were a bit more tame are also long gone.  What older Laredo neighborhoods need is smarter, local investment with staying power.  The barrios need anchor businesses that will be unique and useful, businesses that will help communities thrive.

Revitalization should not be a word only associated with the downtown area.  And code enforcement should apply to more than just keeping sidewalks clean and clear.  We should demand better lives for us and our neighbors.  That which is visible defines us and it shouldn't be Mami Chulas, or maquinitas for that matter.

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