Monday, October 5, 2015
LETTER TO ROB CURLEY AT OC REGISTER
When I founded the modern day sex trafficking movement - this is not what I had in mind. Back in the 1970’s and 80’s I used to see the buses come out weekly to round us up like cattle in weekly raids. They would get $250 a pop for us - and make their money and quotas on arrests. It’s also why Sybil Brand Institute had 2000 inmates in 1986 when we went in to do some research on the subject of helping people exit the sex industry - and learned 1800 of those inmates were there on prostitution related charges.
Back in the 1980’s, HIV was raging. The city couldn’t hand them to me fast enough when I formed Prostitutes Anonymous. We set up alternative sentencing programs and the judges just started handing both the women and the transgenders to us gladly. At that time, they also had 400 transgenders sleeping in the day room and cafeteria because they didn’t want to put them into the general population. Through then mayor Tom Bradley we were able to get them put into a house where they could receive proper medical supervision.
Now? Now I’m hearing stories from all over southern California that are making me cry. That they’re now arresting them still in the same exact manner and calling that “rescue”? That they’re barging into strip clubs and doing tattoo photo sessions the same exact way I would see them do gang bangers in Compton in 1984? I’m having sex workers call me up saying this is the “war on drugs” being executed on them in the same manner only they’re now calling it the “war on sex workers”. It’s gotten so bad some strip club owners are having to get restraining orders on “prayer teams” using them to raise money for their church!
I was getting blasted with calls from sex workers that I “had to come see this for myself” and “move back to Los Angeles” because of what’s going on out here. Well I’m here now and I see what they’re talking about. I have spent the last 18 MONTHS trying to find someone, anyone, to register some of these sex workers complaints about how the TRAFFICKERS are using police against them - and I can’t find one single person who will help or even speak to me. You know why?
I’m not in the paper like Kevin Brown. You remember him? Your paper did a big spread on his “outreach” that was propaganda and hype to get him into “8 Minutes”. The show that got canceled because it turned out it was all fake?
How about a story on our work? We’ve been around since 1987. I’ve got testimonials at www.hightechmadam.com and www.leavingtheliferadio.com I’ve been investigated by John Quinones and Bob Herbert who wrote glowing reports on us. John even devoted a chapter on me in his book “Heroes Among us”.
So can we talk? Can I submit you an opt ed? Can I talk to one of your reporters? I am embarking upon www.pasadenaproject.com - would you publish our results? What can we do here so I can get a voice out there for these women who are now being exploited by a system I had created to help them?