NoPornNorthampton Petition Ready for Circulation

On July 10, NoPornNorthampton began to circulate a petition to local citizens. The goal of the petition was to keep our neighborhoods safe while respecting civil liberties. Since the Northampton City Council passed adult-use zoning measures on November 2, we are not soliciting more signatures at this time, but feel free to download the petition for your own information:

NoPornNorthampton Petition (Microsoft Word)
NoPornNorthampton Petition (Rich Text Format)

Final Petition Tally
As of November 2, 2006: 1,016 Northampton residents and 535 non-residents have signed, for a total of 1,551 signatures.

Revision History

July 10, 2006: Original release.

July 18, 2006: We revised a portion of the background text as follows:

The characterization of Skipton House was changed from “YWCA’s shelter for battered women” to “a YWCA office and counseling center that, among other things, serves victims of domestic violence”.
The original information was derived from a listing at fhYouth to Work. The new description is based on information from the executive director of the YWCA of Western Massachusetts, Mary Reardon Johnson. We apologize for any confusion.

August 5, 2006: After consulting with city officials, we reduced the proposed buffer zone around adult theaters and live shows from 1,000 feet to 500 feet. This is to address concerns that the wider zone was too restrictive. We also removed the page of background information. This text referred to Capital Video Corporation’s plans to include viewing booths with their porn shop at 135 King Street. Capital Video recently submitted a revised proposal to the city with the viewing booths removed.

August 14, 2006: We standardized the scope of items 1, 3, 4 and 5 to pertain to “adult theaters, peep shows, and live nude shows”. This brings the petition into conformity with our revised zoning ordinance proposal. These changes were made after consulting with local residents, city officials, and Mark Carmien of Pride and Joy. Adult theaters, peep shows and live nude shows appear to have the more serious “secondary effects” on their surroundings, so that’s what we decided to focus the zoning proposal on. Adult bookstores, video stores and paraphernalia stores are now excluded from consideration.

September 25, 2006: We added a new item at the top to more closely align our petition with a new zoning ordinance proposed by Mayor Higgins and City Councilors Marianne LaBarge and Marilyn Richards. This new ordinance aims to regulate the location of all large Adult Enterprises (over 1,000 square feet of adult material on display) to keep them away from homes, schools, churches and other areas where children are likely to be found. It would bar Capital Video from going forward with its plan to establish a 6,222 square foot porn shop at 135 King Street. We made minor other changes to some of the other items for clarity and consistency of language.

12 thoughts on “NoPornNorthampton Petition Ready for Circulation

  1. Once again, civil rights, diversity, non-discrimination and freedom of speech are guarantees which the leaders of this city promote and support UNLESS the city leaders disagree with you – such as an adult entertainment business.

  2. We support robust First Amendment protection for books, films,
    magazines and other expressions of ideas. However, communities also have the right to protect themselves against criminal activity. We don’t want our campaign to become a referendum on the abstract merits of porn per se, therefore we have not posted general opinion statements on the issue, either by pro-porn feminists or anti-porn conservatives.

    From the studies we’ve seen about viewing booths in adult video stores,
    such booths pose a particular risk of promoting sexually transmitted diseases and attracting a high volume of individuals seeking anonymous sex (in the booths or in cars in the parking lot). We feel that requiring open booths, and locating the business further away from homes and schools, are appropriate measures to prevent these risky behaviors from spilling over into the community. When unconsenting neighbors are put at risk of disease, harassment, sexual assault, and exposure of minors to adult material, it is no longer a purely private matter.

  3. I am a student at Smith College and I strongly oppose the proposal to build a pornography shop on King Street. I think that Northampton is a great town and is very safe. I enjoy being able to walk around and not have to worry about my personal safety. I think the proposed shop will radically alter the character of the town. I want to Northampton to remain safe town with low crime rates.

  4. As a person who was once in the chains of the wretched magazines such places sell, I attest that the porn shop must be stopped at all costs for the sake of all the morally sound citizens of Northampton, who could easily become addicted, as I once was.

  5. I do not want our now, safe streets of Northampton to be turned upside down by a porn shop. There are plenty of them around that we do not need it in our back yard. For god sakes, drive a little ways and you will find one. Northampton does not need this.

  6. Bravo to all of you for your mammoth efforts and longevity pursuing keeping NOrthampton the very special city we love to visit. What teamwork! What a committed and dedicated bunch!
    Good luck with those Wednesday protests. We think you are very special and very reasonable, too. Additional bravos for your website!!! What a lot of work! Whew!

  7. Helpless, unassuming women objectified; Regrettable decisions made through the haze of drugs and alcohol. Let’s not forget these unfortunate men being bounced upon like obscene play-things, forced to perform like animals in some vile circus of filth. It sickens me. When will the world learn that the buying of materials depicting abnormal sex acts endangers lives, livelihood, and happiness. I’m just thankful that our fair city has done away with any talk of live entertainment in this den of depravity. We’ve all seen the devastation in South Deerfield and Whatley that the Castaway Lounge has levied upon the community. As soon as this whole mess is behind us and we progressive soldiers of decency have won the war against the evils of degradation and its many negative secondary consequences, I move that work towards having the 18th amendment reinstated. Keep fighting the good fight. Godspeed!

  8. For best results, stick to the neighboorhood/zoning issue, and appeal to people’s sense of NIMBY.

    “Do you want crime and declining property value near the vibrant cultural center of Noho?”


    Do not attack porn. Most human beings with a pulse love and enjoy pornography, in some form. This issue can be debated forever on many levels, and it only works against you to raise such a passinate and unrelated debate.

    “Do you like porn? Why?”

    Don’t even dabble. It hurts the central issue.

    This is a great focus to stick to:

    “We support people’s right to free expression, and we also believe that porn shops should not be located next to homes, schools and churches,” says Jendi Reiter, legal counsel to NoPornNorthampton. “Case after case across the country state that these two goals are compatible, and that cities have the right to regulate the time, place and manner of viewing adult entertainment.”

    Also: might benefit from some clarity on the site. Have a box that says: “Quick and Easy! Protect Northampton culture in under five minutes!” Big, shiny, graphical button. Then send the user on a trail through all those activist pages, one after the next.

    Spread word.

    Thanks for your time.

    – A Noho lover

  9. It is a known fact that for some, porn perpetuates deviant behavior, such as pedophilia, and rape. Is it not our responsibility as the sane majority in a society to consider this fact when determining what’s acceptable? Or, do we continue to slip under the guise of “freedom of speech” and abandon those who need our protection?

  10. All of this is completly ridiculos. you say that this porn shop will bring crime to the area because statistics say so. but what they fail to mention is that the reason that such things are true is because people fight against having porn shops in safer neighberhoods forcing them into places that already have problems with crime.

    and then you say that there are physical effects which is complete insanity. what it is, is that when people who have moral issues against places like that want to act so devasted that their town has a porn shop or something the act like their lives are over or that somehow the porn shop is hurting them in some way when they walk past it.
    what people dislike is seeing people with diffrent moral values and diffrent life styles walk around them. all this is is a moderen day or american way of discrimnation.

  11. If you have evidence for your claims, please present it.

    As for different moral values, we are happy to claim the side of compassion, respect for women, respect for minorities, respect for marriage, public health, freedom from crime, and economic vitality. What are your values?

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