By Cari Hachmann

The i5 Freedom Network and First Amendment Voice hosted an awareness forum on July 31, as a means to educate and inform residents about alleged illicit massage parlors in San Clemente.

The forum was held Wednesday evening at the The Volare Hotel on Camino Estrella.

“As i5 Freedom Network, our primary goal is to get rid of victimization of the individuals in the massage establishments. First Amendment Voice wants people to become aware of the opportunity and responsibility they have to become engaged with their voting rights and make an impact in regards to this issue,” said Brenda Wells, founder and Executive Director of i5.

According to Wells, a trafficking survivor was slated to attend the forum and share her personal story from an illicit parlor. A vice cop was also to speak on how to get rid of illicit massage establishments along with a city planner, who was to explain current conditions and options on how to address these establishments.

The forum’s intention was to feature city law enforcement and officials in order to promote the conversation of illicit massage parlors and address policies and regulations surrounding the topic. Guests and audience members were welcomed to partake in the conversation.

“We really want people to understand the reality [of these illicit massage establishments],” Wells said. “We want to show how the city can do something to make the citizens and those exploited feel safe.”

The awareness forum is the first of its kind sponsored by both i5 Freedom Network and First Amendment Voice. San Clemente Times plans to follow up with the story. 

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