We are a group of residents of the Southeast area in Montavilla, Mount Tabor that are deeply concerned about the recent changes to our community…
Miss Mirk -
I have spoken with you on numerous occasions and it is unfortunate that you continually portray myself and my neighbors in such a negative light.
I also expect a retraction of your claim in this article that I "hijacked" a press conference. As I discussed with you that very day at that very press conference, myself, Brian Wong & a few other neighbors were all personally invited by the Mayor's office & by Commander Crebbs. We were asked to speak just like representatives of Madison South did. I did respectfully say to then Mayor Potter that the City needs to holistically address the issues of prostitution in Portland. Not only did they take away the Prostitution Free Zone and there was a blatant increase in the crime, but at the time there were NO services for the women involved.
Of course there was a crisis in our City that led us to draw attention to the City’s neglect of the issue and that this press conference happening 1 year after lifting the PFZ & doing nothing to support the women – our City leaders failed on this issue.
At the time it was also documented by the Portland Vice Squad & the FBI – that since the PFZ was lifted, out of state pimps were trafficking in women to Portland – some as young as 11 to work our neighborhoods since our laws against pimps & johns were so laxed. In that same summer of 2008, a young prostitute stabbed her pimp to death right off the Ave of Roses since the pimps were turning the Avenue into a turf war.
Yes, our neighbors had to get loud & be the squeaky wheel & because of it 1 year later the City allocated 250k for services for these women. We did not think that the PFZ would solve the many issues surrounding this crime. We saw a blatant cause & effect after the PFZ was lifted and the lack of NO services. We wanted the City to react and be proactive – that press conference was held 1 year after the PFZ was lifted & no services were put in place. Here we are 1 year later 250k invested in this issue and we have seen some results all in the right direction. The support & services need to continue and evolve.
Please don’t portrait myself or my neighbors wanting the women involved locked up – we wanted the City to truly address this issue at the time & this past year with the funding that we were able to acquire was the start of this.
Thank you, Liz Sullivan
Sarah - as the first commentator pointed out you edited a qupte from our blog that implies we think all of these businesses are fronts for crime. This is misleading and sets up your tone & opinion of our group to your readership.
Please retract or revise this immediately.
JBruner 97 -
Chicken or egg scenarios unfortunately don't matter when it comes to the safety & livability of the neighborhoods surround 82nd Ave. This past summer the crime of prostitution escalating to a dangerous level that a 19yr old had to stab to death a pimp on an adjacent residential street at 7pm at night due to the Avenue has now turned into a turf war.
Also at the same time neighborhood women & young girls were now being harrassed by johns since if you are a single women walking in the radius of the Avenue you must be a prostitute. Their safety is now compromised.
You speak of growth - but well needed businesses are not moving into the area due to these sex shops and the crime along the Avenue. The City IS targeting adult businesses downtown that are deemed problem businesses due to the documented crime & number of police calls to these businesses. Since those sex shops are standing in the way of development in highly valued real estate.
You speak of increasing the police presence - unfortunately that is not a reality due to the Police Bureau having to cut $3M from it's current budget.
This is a very layered problem and at the heart of it is zoning, like in 48 other states.
e are raising the discussion - there's tons of info and research on the matter it warrants a real dialogue.
Montavilla In Action
As we stated to you many times before - we do not want to push this crime around - we expect our city officials to react and see the patterns before it reaches a critcal level.
"We as a city need to react quicker - look at how quickly crime - the pimps took over this area since the ordinance was dropped last September. The city needs to start realizing patterns so we are just not pushing this around or letting it reach such a critical level again. Along with the PFZ we ask our elected officials to look at solutions to help the women and truly enforce the johns. "
We noticed once again you glossed over the fact that even under the guise of "legalized" prostitution women & young girls are being trafficked and forced into it. It is a "solution" that too has many issues around it.
>>>You should also please educate yourself on the present issues with "legalized" prostitution -
From Human Trafficking.org / June 03, 2008:
"Europe Reconsiders Prostitution as Sex Trafficking Booms" http://www.humantrafficking.org/updates/77…
"Trafficking and forced prostitution are on the rise, and the EU countries' complicated prostitution laws make prosecution difficult.
An aid organization has opened its 12th office in Germany to advise women in need. Some 700,000 women are trafficked to western Europe every year."
The below is a recent article (July 20, 2008) regarding Amsterdam's recent crack down on their red light district & policies.
"Recently, six members of a gang led by two Turkish-German brothers were convicted for people trafficking. They were active in the red light district in Amsterdam as well as in Germany and Belgium. Women were beaten, raped and forced into prostitution. Most of the victims were too scared to make a formal complaint against the gang. "
You have told us in the past "just don't push your problem off on someone else" - how is it OUR problem when johns are coming from all over this state & WA state? How pimps are coming in from Seattle & LA and beyond since are laws are so laxed. This is not just OUR problem.
Jacomus perhaps you would like to spend some of your energy & time talking with the residents of this city affected by this crime - like one young mother we met - who doesn't have the luxury of a car & must walk along 82nd to get her groceries and when doing so with her 3 young children men in cars are propositioning her in front of her kids - just because she is walking along on 82nd as a lone woman during the day. She doesn't want to move out of her apt nor does she have the money to move or pay another security deposit but she fears for her safety and for her childrens'.
Lastly we are not resorting to name calling - Jacomous you are always labelling us - casting us a religious/ self righteous. We are urging people to educate themselves on all layers to this complicated crime & get active in whatever aspect they are interested in.
Montavilla In Action
Sarah - We thank you for your prompt response.
We realize that you shouldn't need to state the same info consistently across all of your articles. Our concern is that you haven't really stated the neighborhood stories concerning safety at all just the "nuisance" issues. Also we only spoke to you once & you keep reusing the same quotes, yet you have had several follow up articles and referenced new sources, angles, with regards to our group, but you did not outreach to us to - have our points specific to these subsequent postings.
Sept 11 - your post of the Mayor's press conference - you misquoted us - but the coverage was fair.
Sept 15 - you characterized us "battling" with other blogs - as you know this was news to us since we reached out to 82nd Cares weeks ago and received no response from them (sent you the emails to prove our outreach & asking for collaboration - only to not hear anything until reading this article).
Sept 18 - in your article "Redlight" - once again you misquoted us using the quotes from 9/11's press conference but once again it was regarding a different aspect of the issues.
Sept 23 - it was your characterization of us as "vigilantes" - that made us write to you & the Merc yesterday. You have heard the Mayor & Commander Crebs urging for "Community Policing" we are/ were encouraged to have our patrols seven nights a week due to sheer necessity of the crime taking over our neighborhoods. Please give us some credit - we live here, we see and experience this crime now daily, we see these young women freely traded, we see neighborhood women afraid to walk these same streets now, we hear the johns circling our streets all days & nights like sharks, please talk to us before you write such slanted pieces.
We value & realize that the Portland Mercury is a paper that most of our members read weekly & we realize how important it is in shaping public opinion here in Portlandia. Matt Davis has done some great investigative journalism. Please outreach to us on future articles we are fully vested in this issue, we are upset that our City leaders abandoned the PFZ and stop funding outreach for the prostitutes years ago. No wonder why we are at where we are today. We are not "battling" anyone we are asking questions.
Montavilla In Action
Sarah - how come you didn't attach the photos or the video regarding the story? http://www.nwcn.com/statenews/oregon/stories/NW_092208ORN_prostitution_attack_TP.a1ab265d.html
These women that attacked our fellow neighbors are known & convicted prostitutes. They were seen getting in out of cars all night long and that bench is their drop off point, this occured all throughout the early evening and the attack was at 9pm. Sarah please ask us these obvious questions before you post such uninformed articles. We live here, we see and experience this crime now daily, we see these young women freely traded, we see neighborhood women afraid to walk these same streets now, we hear the johns circling our streets all days & nights like sharks, please talk to us before you write such slanted pieces.
As we have stated to you before, the working families of the neighborhoods surrounding 82nd Avenue - Montavilla, Mount Tabor, Park Rose, etc are out patrolling the streets seven nights a week, out of pure necessity due to the blatant increase in crime.
Sarah - we have told you about the neighborhood stories but you never have reported them. WHY? We have told you & can list hundreds of examples of stories of our fellow neighbors and how their safety is now being compromised - johns now freely harass women & young girls in the area - since if you are a lone women in this radius "you must be a prostitute", a family told us that their 14 & 11 year old daughters can't freely walk in neighborhood any more, johns are masturbating in cars & exposing themselves, johns are erratically speeding and circling down our residential streets all hours of the day & night since they are in the zone, literally. Many rental properties are being taken over by criminals as "base camps" closer to their place of work the Avenue - 82nd selling & dealing drugs. There has been two retaliation style turf war fatalities on our streets.
We have told you about the local young Mother that we always referred to. We met her at the Montavilla Kids Fair in July - she had specifically come there to sign our petition. She is a young mother of 3 and does not have a car. She told us then that unfortunately she has to walk to/on 82nd for groceries and it was only this past summer that now johns in cars are harrassing her while she walks with her 3 children.
As we told you Sarah, that she is so concerned about her children's safety and has now moved. She did not have the funds, nor the security deposit but she put it on a credit card because her safety was being comprised by johns every time she walked in her neighborhood. How sad. She doesn't have the money to move and it is a real struggle & we offered to help. She is heading out to Beaverton and is upset because she likes this area and likes to be able to walk (she doesn't have a car & has 3 young children all under the ages of 5) everywhere. Unfortunately because of the crime she couldn't walk in this neighborhood anymore & where she is moving it will be harder to walk but she has to now move for their safety.
You have also portrayed us "battling" others, which is not the case we are trying to draw attention to this increased crime that is taking over our streets. We are upset that our City leaders abandoned the PFZ and stop funding outreach for the prostitutes years ago. No wobnder why we are at where we are today.
Sarah you have our phone numbers, you have our emails please delve deeper then sensationalizing a very sad & tragic crime.
Montavilla In Action
Mr. Jacomus -
Nice chatting with you again.
Don't have time to spar with you on all of your points and we do agree with you that the City keeps pushing the crime around and never truly addresses it. We do want to point out howeverthat we disagree & the facts prove that your second point is wrong:
2. To be honest, in any business, the owner sets up shop as close to the customers as they can, and, the areas around Montavilla are where most of their "johns" live -- since conservative Christians make up the largest segment of their business.
Actually the johns that come to our community are from all over Oregon State & WA State. Many also from other states who happen to be visiting Portland. Most however are from those more affluent areas you speak of, Lake Oswego, West Linn, and all points north & south east and west - Vancouver, Camas, Tigard, Beaverton, Salem, etc. OUR problem is everyone's problem.
Also once again you assume most in this area are Conservative Christians - which is once again incorrect.
We wish you a wonderful evening,
Montavilla In Action
Thank you Tara for the coverage. We do however disagree with some of your comments in the above article and in your previous article. You are using words like "battle". We are not battling with other groups especially those that are trying to help the prostitutes. We are not even battling with the Mayor or the City Council - we are asking questions, we are wanting details and integrated solutions. I think in other cities our actions or verbiage would not be characterized as such, but just community activism.
Tara another key issue we have with your coverage is you are only pointing to the nuisance issues with the crime – as we have discussed and I have provided the “neighborhood stories” regarding safety concerns that have escalated in less than a year: johns now freely & blatantly harass women & young girls in the area - since if you are a lone women in this radius "you must be a prostitute", a family told us that their 14 & 11 year old daughters can't freely walk in neighborhood any more, johns are masturbating in cars & exposing themselves, johns are erratically speeding and circling down our residential streets all hours of the day & night since they are in the zone, literally. Many rental properties are being taken over by criminals as "base camps" closer to their place of work the Avenue - 82nd selling & dealing drugs. There have been two retaliation style turf war fatalities on our streets.
Tara & Ms Tenty, we too are disgusted to learn that currently the City, nor the County fund any services for the prostitutes, NONE. We tried calling those phone numbers on the County's help page online for prostitution social services to other groups - months ago - just like Jeri Williams says those 2 numbers are disconnected & have been for a long time. Couple that with abandoning the PFZ and now we have organized crime, pimps from other states have moved in to our neighborhoods and are running these young girls day & night - and we are nearly 1 year later hearing Mr. Leonard say yet again "real solutions" are coming. We agree with Ms Tenty that the City is not getting input from those directly involved in the issues, the prostitutes and the neighbors. We had to be squeaky wheels to get our voices heard – why is that?
We have challenged our City Council on their proposal - is $500,000K really enough to fund services and support their Police Service Coordination Team? When will the money be approved?
We have a rebuttal to the proposal on our blog. There are many, many unanswered questions to their plan and many more "Ifs".
On our blog is a link to our rebuttal to the Mayor's "prostitution talking points" as he refered to them on his website. We do not need talking points, we need a well executed plan that has buy in, adequate funding and addresses the complexity of this crime. The city stated a year ago that they were going to come up with "real solutions" as they abandoned the PFZ (Sept. 30, 2007). Now 1 year later organized crime has moved in and made the Avenue into a criminal "turf war", where young women are now blatantly & freely traded day & night, neighborhood women & young girls safety is now being compromised, fatalaties have occured, residents safety & livability is effected and now Mayor refers to his talking points as an important begining?
We plan to have our "March on 82nd Avenue to Reclaim Our Neighborhood" on Saturday September 20. Please go to our blog for the flyer & more info.
We also plan on presenting our Petition to Reinstate the Prostitution Free Zone to City Council, to commemorate with the 1 year anniversary (Sept. 30, 2007) of that negligent mistake. We ask that the PFZ be reinstated in addition to all of the city's proposed plans. We also stress once again that the City leaders look to Seattle and see how they took our law and PFZ ordinance and made it effective. Petition to Reinstate the PFZ - which we will be presenting to the City Council on Sept. 30th to commemorate with the 1 year anniversary of its abandonment.
We ask now more than ever that the City please reinstate the PFZ in addition to the proposal that they have just begun the start of that still does not have approved budget or buy in from all appropriate dept. After seeing all of the "Ifs" and layers to the proposal and were it can all break down, plus there has been no timeline presented to the plan - that we feel now more than ever the PFZ is needed in addition to the plans the City is now working on.
>>>> PRIORITY REASONS AS TO WHY THE PFZ SHOULD BE REINSTATED (UNDER EMERGENCY STATUS):
>>1. The research that the Mayor cited when lifting the ordinance did not even mention prostitution in the entire 18 pg doc it was lumped with the issues surrounding the DFZ http://www.portlandonline.com/mayor/index.cfm?a=169712&c=46244
>>2. According to the Neighborhood Response TEAM (NRT) back on 7/23/08- calls regarding prostitution have quadrupled since last year this time. Cause & Effect - Zone is gone = crime has grown considerably & formed deep roots
>>3. We the citizens around 82nd Ave are having our safety compromised each & every day (read our blog to hear comments from your neighbors: how neighborhood women are now being harassed, neighborhood young girls are being propositioned in daylight by johns that circle and speed through our streets.
>>4. Crime from all over is now coming to 82nd Ave – it is well documented that the women are being trafficked from Seattle, LA and beyond to work on the avenue due to our laxed laws. In addition, johns from all over the State & WA state are coming to our neighborhoods – we have taken on both States’ issues..
>>5. Until the city’s “real solutions” are in effect & working, we need to immediately stem the crime that has taken over our communities to bring back the safety & livability of the neighborhoods & their residents.
Montavilla In Action
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