Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Charles Pugh, Marvin Winans Square Off Over Strip Clubs

Charles Pugh, President of the Detroit City Council, made me proud today to have endorsed his candidacy.

Rev. Marvin Winans who lives in West Bloomfield, but presides over the Perfecting Church (7616 E. Nevada St.) on Detroit's east side, has long sought to eliminate strip clubs from the city of Detroit. His efforts have cost our City millions of dollars in litigation expenses, but haven't shut down any strip clubs nor have they done anything to improve the quality of life for Detroiters.

Thankfully, President Pugh, took Rev. Winans to task on the issue earlier today. The full text of their exchange can be found below.

Thank you, President Charles Pugh.  Thank you.

Charles Pugh, Marvin Winans square off over strip clubs | detnews.com | The Detroit News


Rev. Jack A. Kozak said...

Frank, I strongly disagree with you. I suspect the reason you write approvingly is because you don't have strip joints on Warren Ave.

I lived "IN" the city - 8 Mile/Gratiot - in the early 90s. There were strip joints aplenty along 8 Mile Road. The problem was that they were magnets for prostitution. The businesses insisted that they didn't allow prostitution on their property.

True enough, but prostitutes walked the streets near the strip joint, outside a bouncer's control. Connections were made, either inside or outside the business. Then the prostitutes and their clients ended up driving into the neighborhoods to 'do the deed.' This would be done in front of my home and church. Used condoms, condom wrappers and soiled tissues frequently littered the area. Guess who has to clean up? The homeowner. I once witnessed a prostitute being beaten up in a car in front of my house, which was next to the church.

Strip joints, in and of themselves, may be legal, regulated businesses. But they destroy the quality of the neighborhoods in which they reside. If you lived a few houses away from a strip joint on Warren Ave, you might not be so sympathetic. Imagine running prostitutes and their customers off your driveway. Imagine having to keep a long stick in your garage in which to pick up used condoms for disposal. And you will pick them up because you are afraid of one of your children contacting them. In fact, you would have to search your yard before letting the kids out just to be sure.

Oh, and the cars the men used to do the deed were almost always rental vehicles from the suburbs. So it was a classic case of suburbanites coming into a city they care little about, patronizing businesses they would never want in *their* own neighborhoods.

Yes, I complained to city council and went downtown to protest the opening of new strip clubs. Given what Charles Pugh said, things have not changed.

Frank said...

Rev. Kozak, I respect your opinion and thank you for sharing it. As for the strip clubs in the Warrendale neighborhood, there is one on Ford Rd., a few blocks from my home.

My point with these clubs is this: for everyone of the problems that you mentioned, there is a law that already exists to deal with it. The problem is that the existing laws aren't enforced.

I do not believe that adding another round of laws - that presumably won't be enforced either - will do anything to solve the challenges that Detroit faces. Instead, it will most likely open us to another round of litigation from the owners of said clubs; further depleting our already limited resources.

Again, I thank you for sharing your opinion.

Rev. Jack A. Kozak said...

Hello again Frank. Yes, for every problem I mentioned there is a law. But do the taxes the clubs pay offset the costs of adequate enforcement?

As for the city's costs in litigation, I think that goes with the territory. Detroit voters still maintain a nine member city council that exists to hear and act on their complaints and suggestions. The democratic process permits residents like me (from 1989-1996) to petition my elected representatives to relieve me of a terrible menace to the quality of life my family and I had to endure.

FrankNemecek said...

The amount of tax revenue coming out of strip clubs isn't anywhere near what it should be.

Dancers in these clubs earn their money entirely in cash. They are subject to the City's income tax, but the City of Detroit does a very poor job of collecting on it.

By my estimates, the dancers should be paying a little over $1 million in city income taxes. That's on top of what the bartenders, servers, bouncers, DJs, and such pay as well as what the club itself pays.

That's plenty of money to beef up law enforcement around these clubs to enforce the existing but unenforced laws.

I posted previously about this @ http://warrendale.blogspot.com/2007/06/city-council-wastes-500000-kids-get.html



2realOneal said...

When do we understand that difference between individual rights and moral concious. A moral concious follows after this creed, wisdom has said, deni yourself self pleasures, pick up your cross and walk in my ways.

Civilization. That which is civil and humaine. That which is aware of whats best for the whole, but to also take a concious intent for the future of the human experience that is inherently our childrens.

Yea, its a good speach Mr. Pugh, but while you take the position of those who prosper from the exploytation of our young women, and your words where to attempt to disqualify Pastor Winans about his residency, I have a question for you.

When was the last time you visited a gentelmens club? Becuase if you had you would realize the TRUTH OF THE MATTER.

There are all manner of activites going on RIGHT THERE IN PLAIN SIGHT, for all to see, in fact the spirit these days is wickedness is not fun anymore with an audiance.

Every manner of sexual act is being performed within the four walls of the business.

No one can dispute this! How does this establishment directly affect our communities, wheres the Brad Dunn report on that, what data are you using Mr. Pugh for which you are willing to side with those whos wellbeing of our communities are not in none of our best interest, neither are the unlimited liquor stores.

Lets not do what we can, But what we should - be ye right minded.
Would the absence of these indecent business make a difference in the quality of life for the many, verses the prosperity of a few.

Frank said...


You're assuming that the ordinances that Rev. Winans is pushing for will actually make things better. In all likelihood, the end result of such ordinances being adopted is even more of things that you don't want.

As I've pointed out on several occasions, there are a multitude of existing laws on the books to deal with strip clubs. Those laws aren't being enforced because the Detroit Police Department doesn't have the resources to enforce them.

If DPD can't enforce the existing laws then it seems highly probable that they won't be able to enforce the new ones that Rev. Winans wants either.

Moreover, once the Winans ordinances are passed, there will almost certainly be a court challenge to them. Even if these ordinances survive said challenge, the City of Detroit will still have to pay much of its limited resources to defending them. This, in turn, means that there will be even less funding available for the police department to work with.

I believe it would be much better for us to throw the Winans ordinances in the trash; take the money that we otherwise would have had to spend on law suits and allocate to DPD to better enforce our existing laws.

Richard said...

DPD does not have the resources to enforce the MLCC rules and the new city rules. I don't get it...

The police are already there in the clubs! The cops frequent these places on and off duty. I know some of the girls that stripper in these clubs, they tell me that the most abusive customers are the Detroit Police Officers.

Also, the City is terrified of the legal power the strip club owners have, and how often are the owners ever named in violations? NEVER!

The managers don't run a business that makes tens of thousands of dollars a week without being the puppets of the owners.

Here is another secret the clubs never talk about. The girls hate the stage. They can not make any money on the stage and often duck the sight of the DJ. They need the VIP rooms where they can make the big dollars for the acts of prostitution.

MLCC knows the Detroit Police are not enforcing the laws, the State Police know this, Wayne county knows this, The Mayor and the City Council all know it as well.

And guess what people, go look at the online sister to craigslist, backpage. The strip club girls are working the suburbs on a personal level.

The church groups may be the only force powerful enough to cause any change. These strip bars are so fearless they hired a 14 year old girl and then play dumb. Yea, throw the manager to the wolves. How many other Cities have busted 14 year old dancers? Very few if any!

The strip bars sell alcohol only as a cover, they make their real money in the prostitution business. With this tough economy, the corporate customers are down so the girls are providing more VIP services for less money. It is truly out of control prostitution.