ABOVE L-R: Penny Harrington, Flavio Nominati, and Kaye Van Nevel. BELOW: Meeting in the new space at United Methodist Church of Vista.

Guest Speaker: Flavio Nominati, San Diego County Deputy DA
Human Trafficking Task Force

Next meeting: TBD, United Methodist Church of Vista, 490 S Melrose Dr Vista, CA 92081

The May Meeting of the San Diego North County Anti-Human Trafficking Collaborative was held in the newly refurbished community room on the upper level. Our guest speaker was Flavio Nominati, San Diego Assistant District Attorney on the Human Trafficking Task Force. He works with our original guest speaker Carolyn Matzger, who had a unexpected conflict. 

Collaborative leader Kaye Van Nevel opened the meeting by having all attendees stand and introduce themselves. There were quite a few new people attending, so Kaye  talked about Soroptimist mission and our recent Live Your Dream Awards, which included a survivor of trafficking among our six awardees. (That specially designated award was made possible by donations received during our “30 Miles in 30 Days” to fight human trafficking walkathon and the Awareness Walk.)

Our legislative guru, Penny Harrington, updated us on status of legislation, specifically SB 14, which includes human trafficking within definition of a serious felony for the Three Strikes Law. To pass out of Public Safety, Sen. Grove had to amend to apply only to minors 18 and under. See online spreadsheet here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1QA9U3nrhNlsMhnjAHD8MTkDDuMm5k2sCMMkjkrUjc_I/edit?usp=sharing

AB 1740, to post HT notices in pediatric care facilities has passed committee which is a great first step. Penny also mentioned the Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition Freedom Luncheon and Angels of Trafficking Awards on May 19 in La Jolla at 11:30 am to 2:00 pm with Monica Dean as Master of Ceremonies, and San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan as special guest. Tickets available on Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.com/e/freedom-luncheon-and-angels-of-trafficking-awards-tickets-603989267157?utm-campaign=social&utm-content=attendeeshare&utm-medium=discovery&utm-term=listing&utm-source=cp&aff=escb

Kaye introduced our guest speaker, Flavio Nominati. Flavio is Assistant DA in Human Trafficking Task Force. He told us about his path to law school and his background. Although he originally wanted to get into theater, he is glad he pivoted to law, because he enjoys helping victims of abuse and trafficking. He told us about the unintended consequences of the passage of Bill 375 which repeals California Penal Code Section 653.22, the law that criminalized loitering for the intent to engage in sex work. This new act took effect January 1, 2023…and the result has been a sharp increase in “street level trafficking” state-wide! He cited a particular street in downtown San Diego (Main St. and Roosevelt) that has seen “bumper to bumper” traffic of men seeking sex from women who are there, some as young as 14. Law Enforcement has temporary cameras to document the activity, but they are constrained form having the cameras there permanently.

On a positive note, their recent Operation Better Pathways which focused on making contact with victims was a “dramatic step in the right direction” and “sent a message to traffickers,” he said. He cited one victim who is now back in school and has a job and is close to being able to be reunited with her kids.

He said if we suspect someone is being trafficked don’t intervene but call the Task Force Tip Line: 888-373-7888 or text 233-733 (BE FREE)

Next meeting will probably be in September, Kaye will notify Collaborative members.

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