Public Hearing On Regulating Adult Entertainment

Council takes up strip joints.

A public hearing with a possible vote by the City Council is scheduled to take place tonight at 6 in City Hall on the long-awaited proposed ordinance to regulate adult entertainment establishments in the city. A coalition of city neighbors under the banner is rallying support for passage led by City Councilwoman Sue Brannelly.

The proposed ordinance was passed by the Ordinance Committee last week but not without some opposition. Proponents ague adult entertainment establishments attract crime, drugs and hurt property values. Those opposed to the ordinance maintain that’s an exaggeration adding the regulations add intrusive costs to establishments running legitimate operations. OneBridgeport has circulated a petition presented to members of the legislative body. The ordinance has the backing of Mayor Bill Finch. See petition language below. For more about the proposed ordinance, visit

We, the people of the City of Bridgeport, urge you to vote YES in favor of the Sexually Oriented Business Ordinance for the City of Bridgeport. For far too long these businesses have been operating without regulation, are a nuisance to neighborhoods, bring down property values and the quality of life, foster an environment for trafficked and exploited people from this country and from outside its borders, and impair the morals of children who see it in their backyards and who are vulnerable to growing up into the lifestyle. The list goes on and on. This ordinance needs to pass the City Council NOW and to regulate these businesses and create a safer environment for all Bridgeport residents.



  1. I voted for Marty McCarthy in Black Rock. I didn’t know he was for strip clubs and massage parlors. Next year I’ll pick someone who cares for Black Rock.

  2. With all the violence in the city, to spend this much time on massage parlors and strip clubs indicates a total lack of priorities. Marty deserves kudos for this, not criticism. I want people representing Black Rock to care about the whole city!

  3. First, the new ordinance will benefit the whole city; other areas have a far worse effect of the unregulated strip clubs with brawls, etc. Second, there is the theory if the basic rules are in place and enforced, it will have an effect on the bigger crimes. To use Fairfield as an example, the police have the reputation of being very strict and enforce the basic ordinances, so their crime rate is much lower because of this–again, in theory. If the basic ordinances of all of Bridgeport are enforced to the letter of the law, it often makes for an environment of criminals being more wary of doing business in such an environment.

  4. BRG,
    Good to see you last Saturday AM. I’d like to share a different viewpoint on the two issues. Some Black Rock neighbors, homeowners concerned about property values, taxpayers, parents, and some just concerned about their “quality of life,” have put up with what they have felt are businesses that do not contribute to the growth and improvement of City life … namely massage parlors and adult sex-oriented entertainment. They were as frustrated for years as you appear to be about seeing improvements with what was bothering them. When they complained they heard laws or regulations were inadequate or enforcement authorities were not interested or ‘something else.’ But nothing happened.
    So they sat down, studied their concerns from all sides, saw there were improvements necessary and perhaps possible at the State level. And then they did the same thing about regulations and enforcement at the City level. Two separate and different initiatives with lots of support at the State level and City level when the public needed to come out. Whatever else you may think or feel about Auden Grogins or Sue Brannelly (and some others), they did the listening and heavy lifting on this issue that is critical to success.

    Hand it to Bridgeportone and its linkage to City Council persons for their success so far. Perhaps BlackRockGuy, instead of becoming a judge of equivalencies and declaring the shooting and murder problem is the highest priority and knocking what has been done by a successful group, you might want to meet the supporters of the recent changes, many of them female, and ask them how they accomplished what others had thought impossible for decades.
    Remember what Mayor Giuliani did in NYC when he went after the auto ‘window washing’ street entrepreneurs as a method of communicating the old ways will not be tolerated?

    There is a grass-roots TIPS envelope program out there at Bridgeport Housing Authority, City Libraries and large grocery stores awaiting more publicity by the Police Department. Brought to my attention by two local activists, Clyde Nicholson and Amos Brown, we have provided a postage paid envelope at 20 locations in Bridgeport so that a citizen who has seen or heard something regarding illegality or criminal behavior can write down what they know about the subject … TRUSTWORTHY INFORMATION, and send it to the police coordinator without a name or any identifying mark thereby assisting PUBLIC SAFETY, their own and their neighbors. This overcomes the no-snitch culture so present in many neighborhoods now. Trustworthy Information for Public Safety. Another 1000 envelopes will be prepared this week. It’s grassroots activism when the top levels indicate they need help. Time will tell.

  5. The TIPS idea and envelope program does not belong to me. I am an advocate for it because it just makes sense. It provides info to enforcement authorities, without compromising the identity of the person in the community sharing the info (they remain safe), it’s low cost, and gets people out of the uncooperative no-snitch pattern.

    Anyway, the sketchy info I have at the moment revolves around alcohol sold to minors at a location, complaints of drug dealing at a bodega, and conditions endangering an elderly resident. No reports of charges or investigations. But no crank info either. It needs promotion and it needs the public in order to work. It can use a bigger City voice through all the media outlets. And the results? Time will tell.

  6. I can’t make it to the public hearing tonight. However, I did just drive past Curwen and Paoletto’s houses. Both appeared to still be at home. I guess they aren’t really interested in what the public has to say!

  7. Sorry John, but all this is going to do is take up our limited police resources at a time when it seems every weekend someone is getting gunned down in neighborhoods like the East End. I just wonder if these businesses were on the East End if the supporters of these ordinances would be so outspoken. Shame on the City Council and Mayor Finch for sitting on their rear ends and worrying about their property values while human lives are being snuffed out on our city’s streets. Where was Ms. Brannelly’s concern when Mr. Finch wastes money on numerous items that would be considered wasteful even if the city wasn’t broke?

  8. A funny thing happened on the way to the voting last night! Everyone present supported it … including Martin McCarthy. Learning experience?

    BRG: The City can do more than one thing at a time, just as each of us can. You know, walking and talking, or chewing gum and you name it. As a matter of fact the Ordinance Committee last week considered five of the six matters on their Agenda. WOW!!! The only one they could not consider at the same time, necessitating tabling it, was the City Council stipend reform. Time will tell.

  9. Spare me, John … Ms. Brannelly couldn’t care less about anything that doesn’t happen outside Black Rock and seems more concerned about a bill that regulates lap dances. I am more concerned that people like our Mayor and Branelly are purposely discouraging light industry from locating here and indeed are putting non-taxpaying structures on land that formerly held manufacturing and would be perfect for businesses that are bypassing Bridgeport for towns like Stratford, Trumbull and Shelton. And I would like to know where the city is going to get the money to pay for the enforcement of the lap dance ordinance when they can’t afford to have more than 21 police officers on patrol at a given time. I was mugged many years ago and it sure wasn’t by a lap dancer.


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