The correct way to aid a neighborhood that has been making efforts to become safer and cleaner is not to allow a strip club to be built within it. Ozenmoc Inc. plans to build a strip bar called the Centerfolds Club in Chinatown, an area where the residents have made concerted efforts to clean up the neighborhood and get rid of drugs, crime and prostitution. This club should not be built in Chinatown because it would derail the residents’ efforts to clean up their community.
Neighborhood opponents of the club believe the club would bring prostitution back to Chinatown, which was once part of the notorious “Combat Zone.” A club such as this would set the neighborhood back a number of years in terms of the gains it has made in eliminating prostitution and drugs. There are more productive things the area planned for the club could be used for — uses that would benefit the community instead of an institution that primarily markets sex.
An example of an area that has benefited from ridding the area of strip bars is 52nd Street in New York. Since Disney bought a large chunk of the neighborhood and forced many of these clubs out, drugs and prostitution in the area have virtually disappeared.
Proponents of the club cite a constitutional right to free speech as a justification for legally opening a club such as the proposed venue. However, these clubs do not enhance a community and should not be placed in a neighborhood which residents and local law enforcement officials have worked diligently to make livable. Chinatown residents are correct in speaking out against the opening of the Centerfolds Club because residents have a right to determine what does or does not belong on their streets.