Victory

Ask the Rapid City Economic Dev. Center to stop using women and girls as an "enticement" to bring oil companies to town

This petition made change with 131 supporters!


According to a Rapid City Journal article dated April 25, 2014,

"Ben Snow, president of the Rapid City Economic Development Center, said at an energy conference Thursday that the region has another, less obvious but hugely important enticement for oil and gas companies: the fact half the city's population is female."

(Quote by Mr. Snow) "Here's another advantage I love to give these guys (in North Dakota) a hard time about: We have a one-to-one ratio of male to females here," Snow said to a chorus of laughter at the ninth annual New Horizons Oil & Gas Conference, which was held Thursday afternoon at the Black Hills Learning Center. "We think that's a good thing."

The article went on to state, "having more women may be a big deal for workers who live in so-called man camps and get lonely for female companionship."  (You can read the entire article here: http://m.rapidcityjournal.com/news/local/rapid-city-s-female-population-may-help-attract-energy-companies/article_d5e5045a-7e08-5286-be54-c0833024a52e.html?mobile_touch=true)

This is insulting to women, girls and our community on several levels.  The oil boom in North Dakota has caused crimes against women to increase at alarming rates.  According to a Examiner.com article written by an FBI examiner, 

"Rapes and assaults have multiplied in frequency at an alarming rate and Williston has begun to resemble more a 19th century Wild West town than a modern twenty-first century city. With a rate of over one hundred rapes per 100,000 residents, Williston now has a rape rate that is nearly four times the national average. A woman in Williston, North Dakota is four times more likely to report being forcibly raped than a woman living in Los Angeles and over seven times more likely than a woman residing in New York City. Williston’s per capita rape rate is higher than that of all but one of the 214 US cities with a population of over 100,000 residents, including Detroit, Chicago and New Orleans, cities usually regarded as among the nation’s most dangerous places."

Rapid City already has a serious problem with sexual assaults. In 2001, the FBI declared Rapid City the "rape capital" of the United States, based on reported rates per capita.  According to a 2012 crime report from the FBI, South Dakota has the 2nd highest numbers of reported rapes in the United States (second only to Alaska) with a reported rape incidence of 70 per 100,000 people.

It is irresponsible for the Director of the Rapid City Economic Development Center to use women and girls as a "selling point" to energy companies that employ a high rate of men.  Sign our petition to ask him and his agency to stop this insensitive rhetoric. Rapid City deserves better.



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