Chris Kelly may be back on the ballot next year, but it won’t be as a candidate.
The former Facebook privacy officer and 2010 attorney general aspirant is co-proponent of a proposed initiative that would crack down on human traffickers, particularly offenders that troll the Internet for victims.
The so-called Californians Against Sexual Exploitation Act would beef up sentences for convicted traffickers while forcing sex offenders to register their email addresses and Internet user names with authorities.
The initiative would be a marriage of two ideas that, so far, have failed to gain political traction in California. The group California Against Slavery tried to qualify an anti-trafficking measure for the ballot in 2010 but failed to gather enough signatures. Kelly has lobbied unsuccessfully for state legislation that would force registered sex offenders to identify their online personas.
“Our Legislature unfortunately invented the idea that it will cost money,” Kelly said.
Kelly, who finished third in the 2010 Democratic AG primary, said the campaign will use paid and volunteer signature-collectors to ensure it can gather the more than 500,000 qualifying names needed in 150 days. It’s a pricey task but a potentially priceless one if it ties Kelly, a possible future candidate, to a popular and winning measure.
Kelly, the father of two young children, said he’s simply trying to “step up” for an issue he believes in.
“It’s important to be publicly engaged,” he said. “And it’s important for people in the tech industry to be politically engaged.”
The attorney general’s office still must prepare a title and summary for the would-be initiative before Kelly and others can begin collecting signatures.