Wednesday, February 11, 2009

NY Times Article: "Towns Use Zoning to Limit Sex Businesses"

January 27, 2008
The Law
Towns Use Zoning to Limit Sex Businesses


AS a woman in a bikini top and sweat pants walked to her car in 30-degree weather from the Stiletto nude-dancing club this month, little more than the weeds and warehouses in the shadow of the Meadowlands Sports Complex were within viewing distance.
Such isolation for a club like Stiletto is exactly what the Borough of Carlstadt wants, as its zoning laws specify that sexually oriented businesses are permitted to operate only in this industrial part of town.

An adult video store on Washington Avenue called Video Extra, with lingerie-clad mannequins in the windows, is a different story. The borough is suing to have that store, which sits next to a shoe shop and across from a popular Italian restaurant, shuttered on the grounds that it is in an area not zoned for that type of business, officials said.

Across the state more than a dozen towns have passed zoning laws to regulate sexually oriented businesses, as Carlstadt has done, according to the New Jersey State League of Municipalities. Like Carlstadt, a Bergen County borough of 6,000, many have faced challenges.
“The attempt to regulate these businesses has gone on for a very long time,” said Deborah M. Kole, a lawyer for the municipalities organization.
It is unconstitutional to completely ban sexually oriented businesses, said William J. Roseman, the Carlstadt mayor, so municipal zoning laws are “the only way we can control adult entertainment establishments from running profligate within our community.” He said the zoning restrictions had been a success, reducing the number of sexually oriented businesses in the borough to two from six and contributing to a decline in the number of people arrested for prostitution and being drunk and disorderly.

Daniel R. Aaronson, a First Amendment lawyer based in West Palm Beach, Fla., who represents the club Hott 22 in a lawsuit against Union Township, said that the zoning laws make it so difficult for sexually oriented businesses to operate that they have the effect of keeping them out of business.

“They target these specific businesses, and that’s unconstitutional,” he said.
Last summer, East Rutherford officials made public plans to zone an industrial area near the Meadowlands for sexually oriented businesses to keep them away from schools, houses of worship and residential neighborhoods. There are no sexually oriented businesses in East Rutherford today, nor do any have imminent plans to move in, but should that change the borough will be ready, Councilman Jeffrey Lahullier said. “If we don’t have that zoning ordinance on the book, we have no power to stop them,” he said.

Bloomingdale, in Passaic County, has taken similar pre-emptive action. The borough, which officials say has no sexually oriented businesses, passed zoning laws like Carlstadt’s last year to control them should they come to town.

“We were just trying to keep ourselves up to date on stuff,” Mayor William R. Steenstra said.
In Cherry Hill, the fight to limit sexually oriented businesses has moved into the realm of state government, where two bills introduced by Assemblywoman Pamela R. Lampitt, whose district includes Cherry Hill, have been heard in committee.

Ms. Lampitt said she introduced the bills, which would require sexually oriented businesses to post security guards to keep out minors and to notify neighborhoods of their intent to move in, after her neighbors in the Barclay Farm area expressed anxiety over an adult bookstore they said was set to open next to the neighborhood.

“It was reactionary, to be honest,” Ms. Lampitt said. “It’s not something that unless a problem arises do we think, ‘What do we need to do to fix things?’ ”

Last year the township created a district in an industrial zone in which sexually oriented businesses could operate, said Dan Keashen, a spokesman for Mayor Bernie Platt. One adult bookstore had operated in town but closed recently, and there is no word on the store that was rumored to be opening near the Barclay Farm neighborhood, officials said.
Jeff Levy, the executive director of the
New Jersey Adult Cabaret Association, which represents 180 so-called exotic dancing clubs, said he resented sexually oriented businesses being banished to the corners of towns but agreed that they do not belong near schools or houses of worship.

Permitting exotic dancing clubs in specified districts is preferable to the litigation that often accompanies efforts to open them in other parts of towns, he said.
Adam Orecchio, manager of Stiletto in Carlstadt, said that since the club — which does not sell alcohol — opened in 1996, there had been no complaints from borough officials or neighboring businesses.

“We do well here,” he said. “And we’ve never heard anything from anybody in town.”
The decision to create a district for sexually oriented businesses in Carlstadt in the late 1990s was made for financial reasons, Mayor Roseman said, after a chain restaurant said it would not open in the borough because it would have to do business near a strip club that has since closed.

“The owner said to me, ‘How do I run a family restaurant when there’s a sign next door’ ” advertising sexually themed entertainment? Mr. Roseman said.
The mayor said the Video Extra store was still a headache for the borough. One Bergen County judge ordered it closed because it violated zoning laws, but another judge ruled that it could reopen, he said.

It remains too soon to gauge the effects the zoning laws may have on the towns and their sexually oriented businesses, said Mr. Levy, the cabaret association official.
“I think you will have to look back 10 years from now and say: ‘Did it work? Did we create something positive?’ ” he said. “I don’t know.”

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Please Support Joint Resolution 5 - Call your Senator NOW!

We have talked with many people and we realize that many of the high number of "sex industries/businesses" - strip clubs, porn shops, lingerie shops in our communities are fronts for prostitution and draws in other types of crime and greatly impacts the neighborhood.

Melissa Farley recently spoke to our community and urged us to look at the issues specific to Portland and all of Oregon allowing these businesses to freely operate without any zoning or regulations. 48 other states regulate and zone these businesses - why not Oregon? How is this impacting our neighborhoods and allowing a tolerance for the blatant free trade of women and girls on our streets and in these businesss.

At the heart of it is the State does not have strong zoning laws - goes back to our constitution - that is why we face these battles. Yes these busineses have a right to exist but they need to be zoned due to the nature of them and how they impact a neighborhood. Even in the most liberal of cities, San Francisco, NY, they are zoned so they are not impacting residents & children. They are in business districts.

Back in 2000 there was a measure for the regulation of adult businesses in Oregon. Neighborhood activists placed three measures on the ballot allowing the government to regulate such businesses. All three were defeated by the voters after being opposed by free speech advocates and adult business owners. The most recent attempt was Measure 87, which appeared on the 2000 general election ballot. It lost by a vote of 771,901 to 694,410.

The measure's supporters were outspent nearly 20-to-1 during the campaign. Two political action committees in favor of the measure the Christian Coalition of Oregon Issues PAC and Oregonians for Children spent $13,434 on their campaigns. In contrast, the No Censorship No on Measure 87 Committee spent $250,590 to defeat it.

The campaign against Measure 87 received big contributions from a range of adult businesses and free speech advocates.

We just did some basic research and back in 2004 the Arbor Lodge neighborhood in North Portland fought "Fat Cobra" porn store from opening up right across the street from an elementary school & lost. Fat Cobra's owner donated & maxed out his donation to Portland's Mayor Elect Sam Adams.

The community of Tualatin now fights a strip club from moving in in a neighborhood area - That existing clubs have a history of serious and persistent problems involving police calls, disturbances, lewd or unlawful activities, public drunkenness, fights and altercations with reasonable inference that similar activities will occur at the premises proposed to be licensed.

We have noticed that the City of Portland did recently target & close a long time adult business in the heart of Chinatown where the real estate prices are quite high now due to the gentrification of that area. Is this something the City will do for similar businesses but in areas that are not has highly desirable for development? Driving more of these adult businesses out of downtown & highly valued real estate areas and out to our working family communities, where we then are impacted daily by these patrons and the documented issues regarding these businesses? How many more adult businesses does 82nd Ave and it's surround cross streets need?

In keeping true to the City's plan of "20 minute walking neighborhood" where residents should be able to walk to a store for fresh produce, get involved with your neighbors or make your way to your local park or pub on a warm summer evening. This is not possible on 82nd Avenue. There is a plethora of adult businesses and supermarkets are a rare sight.

We wanted to start this dialogue. We believe as neighborhoods and communities we need to question this. It truly does affect livability and safety.

Urge your senator to support Joint Resolution 5. Senator Don Morrisette, a builder and realtor who is a member of the state legislature has sponsored a bill that is critical in restoring and preserving neighborhood livability. The bill would place the measure on the ballot. If it passes, it will change the Oregon constitution and would give local incorporated jurisdictions the ability to create a zoning system to determine the placement of sexually oriented business'.
Please go to the link below to read a very brief summary of the bill.
Then contact the following:
Jackie Dingfelder or by phone at (503) 986-1723
Ben Cannon phone (503) 986-1446
Thank you all,
Montavilla In Action

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Presentation of the PFZ petitions to City Council today.

Hello all -
Before we settle down for the holiday & give thanks tomorrow.
2 members of our group had scheduled to present our petition to reinstate the PFZ to the City Council today. All members of the City Council were in attendance except for Randy Leonard who was out sick.

We each were given 3 minutes to speak - which is not a lot of time considering all of the neighborhood stories & concerns we wanted to vocalize. We want to formally present the petition & the 1500 signatures we gathered from all of you. THANK YOU.

Attached below is Liz's speech:
Good Morning –
My family & I live in Mount Tabor. In late spring of this year we started noticing more & more cars with prostitutes & johns parked in our neighborhood and engaging in the crime at all hours of the day & night. We all had to be on constant alert & chase away the numerous cars that we presumed stopped on our residential streets as they were originally heading towards Mt. Tabor Park. We also started seeing more & more discarded condoms on the streets where we walked, in our parks & in our school yards.

When we drove along 82nd Avenue, we were both shocked & saddened to see this marked increase of these young women being freely & blatantly traded NOW on OUR streets, in OUR City. These groups of women were now all up & down the Avenue at any time, of the day or night. It was difficult to just drive by them, it was as if the whole city was now enabling the crime to thrive and we turned a blind eye to their daily suffering.
So we got active AND we got educated. What happened? What caused this new critical level of crime in our communities?

What was apparent to all – was that at the root of this increased escalation in crime was the City’s abandonment of the Prostitution Free Zone (PFZ) on September 30, 2007. We researched the history & timeline of the PFZ (please see pg 2 of the handout) and we were shocked at how the PFZ was lumped with the Drug Free Zone & that the City’s commissioned research for abandoning both ordinances – ONLY researched the Drug Free Zone. In the entire 18 page research report – the word “prostitution” was not mentioned once. Yet both ordinances were allowed to sunset together.

This to us was priority reason #1 as to why the PFZ should be reinstated based on this now obvious & blatant example of cause & effect exploding right before our eyes in our neighborhoods.

As we formed a greater outreach across other neighborhood associations, talking with neighbors, police, researching articles, talking to the local businesses - we heard more & more concerns about the safety & livability of our fellow neighbors. We heard hundreds of examples of stories (pg 3 of the handout) of our fellow neighbors and how their safety was now being compromised - johns now freely harassed neighborhood women & young girls in the area - since if you are a lone women in this radius "you must be a prostitute" as you wait for a bus or walk to the store or school, johns are now erratically speeding and circling down our residential streets all hours of the day & night since they are in the zone, literally and are circling like sharks. Neighborhood men & business owners are now being blatantly propositioned as they walk in the area, or stop for gas or even at a stoplight. Many rental properties are now being taken over by criminals as "base camps" closer to their place of work the Avenue – so a quicker commute for both selling & dealing drugs in addition to prostitution. There have been two retaliation style turf war FATALITIES on our streets. It is well documented that now both pimps & prostitutes have moved to Portland from out of state, to take advantage of our weak laws & light punishment.

These criminals are now testing our neighborhoods AND our City, to see how much we will tolerate.
Look at how proactive they were, they saw the opportunity with the PFZ now being absent and made OUR neighborhood streets THEIR NEW business district. We need to be even more proactive & NOT reactive like the City was in the late summer & early fall months of this year.

With the tightening budgets for 2009, we have to be smarter & more strategic about our efforts in truly addressing this crime. In our rebuttal back to the Mayor’s proposal in early Sept. we questioned if the budget is slated for the increased missions & the 2 detailed cars AND if they are planned for next year as well AND to what level? We also stressed that this idea of “Community policing” & “Court watch” should truly NOT be one of the 4 main pillars to Mayor’s plan. The working class families of the Montavilla Community Foot Patrol were patrolling this summer & early fall seven nights a week due to necessitythey do not want the same urgent need to still be there, come this Spring time.

We do not have the “Not In My Backyard” mentality, we do not want any other community to be overtaken by this crime. It breaks our hearts that now our neighborhood women & young girls do not feel safe being approached & harassed by johns & pimps. Those same pimps that are making these other young girls & women walk our neighborhood streets.We do not want this tolerated in ANY neighborhood.

We also strongly question why the City is not focused on “THE DEMAND” – THE JOHNS (please see page 5 of the handout for research done by activist Melissa Farley on why this is key). This SHOULD be 1 of the 4 pillars to the Mayor’s proposal. There needs to be a consistent & targeted effort focused on them. This also needs to be communicated by the City that this crime will not be tolerated & if you are arrested that numerous steps will be taken again you. Why not activate proven effective tactics that over 280 US cities employ when dealing with johns that have been proven to work - list them on a website or in the paper, make them do work crew – literally have them clean up 82nd Avenue. There are many inexpensive but very effective punishments the City can immediately launch & communicate that will not drain the City’s budget.

We hope that the PFZ can be reinstated and that the City of Portland can take key cues & learnings from Seattle to perhaps rewrite & model it after. The PFZ was one vital tool that helped stop the crime from growing major roots & taking over neighborhoods. We ask that it be added to the City’s integrated plan, so that it can work in conjunction with all of the other efforts. Perhaps the Oversight committee that is being proposed next month to City Council, can initially and finally look at the history of the PFZ and do some well needed research on it?

The goal of this zone is the next best thing to the rehabilitation of the offender & that is, the rehabilitation of the area & the community. THANK YOU.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Congrats Commisioner Saltzman!!!

This is GREAT News!!!
Commissioner Saltzman is a great leader, very thoughtful and he truly looks at issues from all sides. He recently met with our group and as been a vocal advocate for our efforts. We look foward to working with him in 2009.

Mayor-elect Adams names Dan Saltzman police commissioner
In The Oregonian:

Posted by Helen Jung October 27, 2008 08:58AM

Helen Jung/The OregonianMayor-elect Sam Adams, left, announces his pick, Commissioner Dan Saltzman, center, to oversee the police bureau. Chief Rosie Sizer, right, praised the appointment.Mayor-elect Sam Adams today named Commissioner Dan Saltzman to oversee the city's Police Bureau.
Adams credited Saltzman's "steady hand," discipline and experience in public service, saying that Saltzman's leadership "will allow Portland's next mayor to focus on some very pressing priorities."

Adams had been considering appointing City Commissioner Randy Leonard to oversee the department. But conflicts between Leonard and Police Commissioner Rosie Sizer led Leonard to withdraw his name last week.
"Rosie will continue to be our police chief with Dan as police commissioner," Adams said.

Adams said that he wants to focus on high school dropout rates, assisting families working "poverty-wage" jobs and preparing the area for population growth in schools, jobs and transportation. He said he will limit Saltzman's portfolio, so that he "can be a nearly full time police commissioner in a way a mayor never could."
"In his unassuming but forceful way, Commissioner Saltzman's decade of accomplishments and passion for the personal welfare of those in need make him a great fit for police oversight," Adams said.

The mayor-elect also announced that he plans to take charge of the office of emergency management.
Sizer applauded the move. "Commissioner Dan Saltzman has a long history of commitment to public safety, particularly the safety of the most vulnerable in our community -- children, the elderly and victims of domestic violence."

She added that she appreciated Leonard's "interest in public safety," noting efforts to secure extra jail beds and services for drug offenders.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Final Petition Round Up

Good day everyone,

The petition drive has been very successful. We are in the process of photocopying them and readying them for presentation to the City Council.

If you have any signed petitons, even if there is just one signature on them, can you please contact us? We need to get them in hand to prepared to present to City Council.

We truly appreciate all the hard work and pavement pounding everyone did. The results have been tremendous. The women walking our streets is at an all time low. We have a new standard and we plan to hold our elected officials to this new standard.

Also, be prepared to get a notice of a date and time we plan to submit our petition to the city. It would make a tremendous statement if we could pack the city hall chambers with local concerned citizens.

Thank you again for all your hard work.

Brian/ Montavilla In Action

Sunday, October 12, 2008

1 Year Anniversary of the PFZ lift - Press Conference

(Video of Press Conference shot by Chris Lancefield - thank you)

On September 30, 2008 – we held a press conference to commemorate and commiserate on the 1 year anniversary of Mayor Potter & the City Council’s abandonment of the Prostitution Free Zone (PFZ) ordinance. Charles Lewis who is running for City Council joined us and is a great supporter of our efforts and of our communities.

Montavilla In Action volunteers have been gathering petition signatures all summer long from concerned residents who have witnessed the deterioration of their neighborhoods in less than 1 year after City Council’s abandonment of the highly effective PFZ ordinance. The residents demand that the PFZ be reinstated as soon as possible, now more than ever after hearing the Mayor’s new proposal (released September 11. 2008) on how the City now plans to address this complex crime. .MIA realize that the City’s new efforts will take buy in, approval of funds and more importantly time, they eagerly await these solutions, but ask that the PFZ be added as part of the immediate tools to restore safety & livability in their neighborhoods.

Following up from a very successful community “March to Reclaim 82nd Avenue”, Montavilla In Action (MIA) is holding a press conference at Montavilla Park (NE 82nd + NE Glisan) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 at 11:00am. This date marks the one year anniversary of the Mayor & the City Council’s unfortunate abandonment of the PFZ ordinance 1 year ago that day.
At the heart of Montavilla In Action’s efforts is their Petition to Reinstate the PFZ (see attachment of petition) in addition to other tools the City is now working to develop. MIA urges all to first look back on the history of prostitution in Portland and thoughtfully ask why so many neighborhoods are now in such dire straits less than one year after the PFZ was dropped. The PFZ was a highly effective tool that should be included as part of the solution to stem the current crisis in conjunction with other tools, including strong sanctions directed at the johns.

MIA will present its “Petition to Reinstate the PFZ” to Portland City Council to commemorate the 1-year anniversary of its abandonment. The five key reasons for reinstating the PFZ are:

>>1. The research that the Mayor cited when lifting the ordinance did not even mention “prostitution” once, in the entire 18 pg doc it was lumped with the issues surrounding DFZ's enforcement. **

>>2. According to the Neighborhood Response TEAM (NRT) - calls regarding prostitution have quadrupled since last year this time. Cause & Effect - Zone is gone = crime has grown considerably & taken 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 being harassed, neighborhood young girls are being propositioned in daylight).
>>4. Crime from all over is coming to 82nd – 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. Johns from all over the State & WA state are coming to our neighborhoods. Pimps & organized crime are turning our streets into a deadly turf war.
>>5. Until the city’s real solutions are in effect we need to immediately stem the crime that has taken over our communities.

Montavilla In Action urges elected City Leaders to please act quicker. When the City Council lifted the PFZ last September 2007 – “real solutions” were coming per the Mayor & Randy Leonard, unfortunately the residents have only seen that “real” & dangerous organized crime that has quickly moved in instead and that took advantage of the weak laws and enforcement of the crime here in Portland. Montavilla In Action sent a rebuttal (attached) to the Mayor’s new proposal on September 12, 2008 and is still awaiting his response.

Prostitution Free Zones do not solve the problem of prostitution. Nor are they suppose to, they do help citizens reclaim their neighborhoods, however, and that in itself is a solution to the problems plaguing many in our city. If making an area safer and more livable isn't the purpose of these ordinances, MIA don't know what is. If years of experience and statistics aren't showing that this ordinance helped to keep this problem in check in areas where they'd otherwise run rampant, we all know too well that this is in fact true, since the residents are currently in the crossfire of this new turf war because the zone is simply now gone.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

October 7th Event @PCC SE Campus

Press Release from Montavilla Neighborhood Assoc:
"TAKE BACK 82nd"Town Hall Series scheduled for Oct 7th

(Portland, OR) – Citing common frustration with rampant prostitution up and down 82nd Avenue, neighborhood leaders from the north end of the thoroughfare at NE Killingsworth to the south end at the Clackamas County line have joined forces together, and have collaboratively developed a two-part town-hall meeting series to educate residents and business on how to combat this growing problem. This citizen-driven town hall series will strive to create understanding of the root causes of prostitution and what community members can do to fight it at an individual, street, neighborhood and city level.

The next meeting will take place on October 7th at PCC-Southeast Center located at SE 82nd and Division.

There will be a Press Conference Prior to the Public Event at 6pm with Melissa Farley of the San Francisco based group - Prostitution Research and Jeri Williams from the City of Portland. Both speakers will speak to the media & be able to answer Q&A afterwards.

Please check out Melissa's latest research on prosecuting the johns here.

The main event will take place from 6:30-8:30pm at PCC-Southeast Center located at SE 82nd and Division, and will feature Jeri Williams from the City of Portland and Melissa Farley of Prostitution Research as key note speakers. A hands-on breakout session will focus on the development of action steps and sharing of resources and tools that have been effective in deterring prostitution. Interactive breakout groups to focus on:

Law Enforcement & Community Policing
The Prostitutes Experience
The John's Experience
Other Communities Examples
Environmental Design & Crime Prevention
Judicial & Government Response
Faith Community Response
Political Advocacy

The idea for a "Take Back 82nd" summit evolved both within the Montavilla Neighborhood Association and the Save NE 82nd Avenue Coalition almost simultaneously, and the groups came together to develop agendas for the town hall that will include panelists, breakouts and goal-oriented work groups.

The purpose of the "Take Back 82nd" summit is to encourage neighbors and concerned citizens to come together to find community solutions. Ideas and feedback generated from both meetings will be compiled into a report distributed to Portland City Council, city officials and neighborhood leaders to create a tools to empower people to step up to combat prostitution.

Neighborhood leaders all agree that they all share a common purpose and passion for preserving neighborhood livability, and see curbing prostitution as a key factor in taking neighborhoods back from criminal activity.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Thank you Chris Lancefield for recording our "March to Reclaim 82nd Avenue", for those of you that missed it please check out video below of the March, and especially Brian Wong's (founder of the Montavilla Community Patrol) welcome speech to the 200 marchers that turned out! It was a great event!!!

It will also air on Portland Cable Access on:

Thurs. 10/16/08 2pm Ch. 23

Mon. 10/20/08 9pm Ch. 22

Fri. 10/24/08 12pm Ch. 11

Wed. 10/29/08 6pm Ch. 23

Fri. 10/31/08 11pm Ch. 22

Thank you again for all of your efforts!!!!

Today is the 1 year anniversary of the City's abandonment of the PFZ.

Today marks the one year of the City's abandonment of the Prostitution Free Zone Ordinance. In a very short time we have seen our neighborhoods & streets taken over by organized crime that quickly moved in to take advantage of the situation. They have turned our streets into a turf war, they have greatly compromised the safety & livability of our fellow neighbors.They have taken over business' parking lots and our parks and school yards. THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.

We live here, we see and experience this crime now daily, we have been out all summer long talking with our neighbors of all of the adjacent neighborhoods - Montavilla, Park Rose, Mount Tabor, Madison South, South Tabor, Argay Terrace, etc - at farmers markets, fairs, neighborhood association meetings, PTA meetings, business assoc meetings, we have walked up and down 82nd Avenue and talked with the businesses and we have consistently heard so many stories of how this increased level of crime is "different" and more blatant then in years past, so much so that a single mother ended up moving to out of the area, because her safety was being compromised daily.

We have also seen more and more of these young women freely traded, johns now freely and aggressively harass women & young girls in the area - since if you are a lone women in this radius "you must be a prostitute", 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. THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.

We are setting up meetings with the City Council Members & the current Mayor to discuss their new proposal and get the full details on it. We ask that the PFZ be reinstated in addition to the City's new plan. We want to educate all on the common arguments we hear against the PFZ and we ask our City leaders to delve into the facts, we did below. We also ask them to look to Seattle and see how they have taken the same PFZ ordinance and made it work, in addition to the treatments and outreach Seattle have created to go hand in hand with their efforts. This to us is key, that the City lifted the PFZ and promised "real solutions" but like Jeri Williams (former prostitute & City Neighborhood Activist now) touched upon in the Town Hall Summit - that currently there are NO services for these young girls & women. When did the City cut that funding in addition to abandoning the PFZ? So no PFZ and no services - no wonder why the crime has reached a critical level.

Common arguments against Portland’s Prostitution-Free Zone (PFZ) – are they valid?

Three arguments against the Prostitution Free Zone (PFZ) aspect of the City of Portland’s former Drug Free Zone/Prostitution Free Zone ordinance (“the ordinance”) are typically raised. These are that the PFZ aspect of the ordinance 1) violated individuals’ constitutional rights, 2) was applied in a racially disparate fashion and 3) displaced prostitution activity from one Portland neighborhood to another. Thoughtful analysis, information and data clearly refute each of these.

With respect to constitutional rights, calls by Montavilla in Action (MIA) to the City of Portland City Attorney’s Office and the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office did not reveal the existence of any court constitutional challenges to the PFZ aspect of the ordinance. These calls did however reveal the most recent constitutional challenge to the Drug Free Zone aspect of the ordinance. The judicial opinion written in 2005 by Multnomah County Judge Michael Marcus on this challenge stated that individuals’ federal and state constitutional rights to equal protection were not violated by the ordinance. This opinion is available at In his opinion, Marcus also noted that “…the Ordinance has been repeatedly narrowed to respond to various court decisions…” and that the ordinance “…serves compelling safety and other legitimate interests of citizens within the affected zones…” Given that the public places its trust in judges such as Michal Marcus to fairly interpret law, MIA believes that Judge Marcus’s judicial opinion is sufficient to ensure individuals’ constitution rights were being protected. On this point, other parties’ conclusions that the ordinance violated constitutional rights are simply personal opinions.

Another common argument against the PFZ aspect of the ordinance is that the ordinance displaces prostitution from one Portland neighborhood to another. While this seems to make sense on its face, information about the state of residence of prostitutes arrested and questioned by Portland Police Bureau officers since the sunsetting of the ordinance in September 2007 shows the displacement argument to be false. The fact that a significantly higher proportion of these prostitutes are from out-of-state than was the case before the ordinance’s sunsetting is strong evidence that the ordinance did not displace prostitution from one Portland neighborhood to another, but rather that it decreased the level of prostitution activity in the Portland metropolitan area and the State of Oregon overall. Given the right of Portland residents to enjoy safe and secure, prostitution-free neighborhoods, MIA believes this was a valuable result of the ordinance.

A third argument commonly advanced against the PFZ aspect of the ordinance is that it was applied in a racially disparate fashion. In this line of thinking, racially disparate application would be observed if the ratio of persons issued exclusion orders to those arrested for engaging in prostitution is higher for one racial group than another. The most common racial group comparison is between Caucasian and non-Caucasian persons. As for the two arguments above, this argument is not supported by the facts. Arrest and exclusion data for 2006 obtained by MIA show that arrested Caucasian persons were issued exclusion orders at a rate of 76.2%, while arrested non-Caucasian persons were issued exclusion orders at a rate of 78.3%. A basic difference of proportions statistical test performed by MIA revealed that there is no statistically significant difference between these two proportions. In other words, the PFZ ordinance was not applied in a racially disparate way with respect to Caucasians versus non-Caucasians, for the data analyzed. As with the displacement argument, statements to the contrary are simply personal opinions that run counter to established fact. The raw data and statistical calculation noted above are available from MIA on request.

Thank you for all of your efforts in making our neighborhoods a SAFE place to live!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

THANK YOU!!!! What a great success!

Thank you to all of our friends and neighbors that came out today to make a stand for safety in OUR neighborhoods. We all came together to RECLAIM 82nd Avenue and to take back OUR streets! Please look for all the local news coverage on tonight's news channels, all of the local media outlets were there today. (a video of the march to follow with a later posting - check out media links to the right.)

We wish to thank many generous people & businesses that made this March a huge success:
First and foremost our local neighborhood officers & especially Lt. Vince Elmore for the police support and activities today. As well as Jane Ames, Mayor-elect Sam Adams' Senior Policy Advisor who came out today & marched with all of us...

Others that we wish to truly thank:
· Starbucks at FuBonn Market – coffee and pastries
· Tim Leitner Construction – signs and manpower

· Bob F. - signs
· Beets Auto Body – use of their adjoining property to Montavilla Farmers Market for petitioning and cash donation
· Flying Pie Pizza – pizza, in store petition station
· Stark St Pizza – pizza
· Academy Theatre – coupons for your use after the march
· Atlas Auto – balloons and manpower
· BiPartisian CafĂ© – in store petition station
City Blessing Church – use of podium and overall community support. First to allow us to set up petition station at festival

· Safeway - for allowing us to end our March on their site & complimentary refreshments.

What a great day, we want to keep this momentum up and truly revitalize our neighorhoods and especially 82nd Avenue. As soon as we are able to get the City to truly address the prevalent crime, we want to work on saving our current business along 82nd Avenue & work on gettting new, well-needed businesses on the Avenue. Please help us, email us to get involved.

We are planning a larger community event soon to thank all of you, stay tuned for details. In the mean time many of you made great signs, many of you are posting them in your front yards. We recycled all of them & if you wish to have your sign to do the same please email us & we'll deliver it you.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Please join our March Tomorrow!!!

Reclaim 82nd Ave.
March Date: Saturday September 20, 2008
Time: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Location: Portland Community College SE Campus (82nd and SE Division)
Notes: Staging starts at 10:00 a.m., march leaves at 11:00 a.m. -- rain or shine!

Please join your fellow neighbors to have a united walk in our neighborhoods. This is a family friendly event, so please bring your children, dogs, friends & neighbors.
We want to reclaim our neighborhood streets and draw attention to the recent increase in crime. We want to show that it will not be tolerated. WE WANT TO TRULY REVITALIZE 82ND AVENUE, but first we need to unite and show that these streets belong to us and not crime.
We need to be united, and this march is an initial step to show that we are reclaiming our neighborhoods -- "one step at a time". Please join us and make our communities safe.
Complimentary refreshments & coupons from local businesses will be provided. We encourage you to bring your own signs. We will supply materials for signs for those that arrive early.

Start: Portland Community College SE Campus (82nd and SE Division)
Finish: Safeway parking lot.
Route: Route is northbound along 82nd.
Parking: FREE parking at the PCC parking lot -– look for signs and the Meet Up tent.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Open Letter & Rebuttal to Mayor's "Prostitution talking points"

Sept 12, 2008

Good Day Mayor Potter and City Council Members and Staff,

Yesterday a few of our members of Montavilla in Action were personally invited to be a part of the Mayor's press conference unveiling his new "proposal" on how the City was now going to address the critical level of organized crime that quickly took over 82nd Avenue since the Prostitution Free Zone was abandoned by the City Council almost 1 year ago (September 30, 2007).

We were asked if we wanted to stand behind the Mayor for the press event, we declined, since we do not fully stand behind this new proposal. We have attached the Mayor's "prostitution talking points" as they were so named and saved on his website. In the doc (attached) we have added our comments / rebuttal to the Mayor's "talking points" because in each and every step of this proposal there are many, many "ifs" and many more questions than answers and concrete solutions.

At the heart of our frustration and anger is that last September 26, 2007 the City Council abandoned the Prostitution Free Zone (PFZ) without doing any research on the effectiveness of it. The PFZ was lumped with the issues surrounding the Drug Free Zone (DFZ). At the time we were told by Mayor Potter & Commissioner Leonard that the City was working on "real solutions" as they dropped the ordinances.

Well since that time, as we are all well aware - organized crime has quickly moved in and made OUR streets and our neighborhoods (Montavilla, Mount Tabor, South Tabor, Park Rose, Madison South - many SE & NE Portland communities) into a dangerous turf war. The crime is so prevalent that johns from all over Oregon and Washington are coming to our neighborhoods and now harassing & compromising the safety of neighborhood women and young girls, since if you are a lone woman actually walking in the radius of 82nd Avenue you are now deemed to be a prostitute. (Please read our neighborhood stories in this attached doc)This has all quickly happened since the PFZ was abandoned.

We urge the Mayor & the City Council to please read our comments on the attached doc. We want answers, we want to know the plan, timing, roll out, funding, etc. We are far too invested in this to repeat the last year all over again. Couple that with next summer and the I-205 Max extension is slated to open in the area and that too will add to the crime that is already pervasive.

Our key comments:
Increased police:
What is the commitment from the City on this increased police presence, is it budgeted and slated for the rest of this year and into the next year and beyond?
How long will it last - even the johns on their chat rooms doubt this increased presence will last will last. Stings and missions are very costly - wouldn't the PFZ help alleviate this cost and help enforce the repeat offender's portion of your proposal?

Prosecuting prostitutes: This part of the plan relies on a lot of "Ifs"...
[It] relies on first obtaining an arrest [taking place during an anti-prostitution] mission.
It targets only repeat offenders – what constitutes "repeat" is it 2 or 5 arrests?
Does the same prostitute need to be arrested at least twice to get her into this plan?
There is currently a long lag time between arrest and court date (6 months appx), what is the number of no shows [allowed] for court dates?

Prosecuting johns: What is required of customers who are convicted of the crime of engaging in prostitution? - Nothing was mentioned in your proposal about "johns".
Consistent minimum sentencing, fees, consistent vehicle impound (if dual title on car so both parties have to get car out of impound) [part of this program?]
Will the johns do work crew [duties], literally clean up 82nd Ave, [and the surrounding neighborhoods]? Where is the prosecution and targeting of the demand - the johns?

Develop treatments: Who are you working with and when will these treatments be available?
When is the Council voting on the funds since it is still "under consideration"?
If the promised $500,000 under consideration is for BOTH treatment AND to create a Service Coordination Team, is that really enough money to make this an effective solution?
Do only "repeat" offenders have access to treatments? As the Mayor states in the "talking points" most of these women are not addicted to drugs. What tools, skills will they be taught to earn a decent living wage to compete with the lure of the money they are currently obtaining?

Community Policing: Mayor you cite that you are helping Neighborhoods with “their own problems” – Mayor Potter how is this blatant increase in crime due to your sunsetting, the PFZ one year ago & allowing it to grow and fester, our “own problem” if that is what you are referring to? As we have previously throughout the summer emailed to you, Mr. Leonard and the rest of City Council that our communities and streets are now the destination for johns, from not only the Portland area but for all of Oregon and the Vancouver, WA areas now as well. This is not OUR problem. [Regarding] Foot patrols – Currently, the working families of Montavilla and Mount Tabor are doing foot patrols SEVEN nights a week out of necessity – due to the level of crime that is affecting our safety & livability. We do not want to still have to patrol seven nights a week in the upcoming months.
This idea of "court watch" is news to us. Who is doing this and how are working families supposed to take a day off of work, arrange for child care, then head downtown to see if the arrested defendant will show up for their [court] appearance. What will this provide as a solution to the compromised safety and livability we are now dealing with?

We urge you to please read our rebuttal attached, it goes into greater details of our extreme concerns about this proposal.

Final thoughts
Lastly, it is disheartening to hear the Mayor sum up his statement that these ideas are a "beginning". What happened over the last year when the Mayor & City Council were supposed to be working on the real solutions in lieu of the PFZ they abandoned?

Prostitution Free Zones do not solve the problem of prostitution. Nor are they suppose to, they do help citizens reclaim their neighborhoods, however, and that in itself is a solution to the problems plaguing many in our city. If making an area safer and more livable isn't the purpose of these ordinances, we don't know what is. If years of experience and statistics aren't showing that this ordinance (particular to the PFZ & not the DFZ) helped to keep this problem in check in areas where they'd otherwise run rampant, we all know too well that this is in fact true, since we as residents are currently in the crossfire of this new turf war because the zone is simply now gone.

March planned for September 20 & presenting of our petition to reinstate the PFZ in addition to all of theses other proposals.

We plan to have our "March on 82nd Avenue to Reclaim our Neighborhood" on Saturday September 20. (For the flyer
We 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.

Mayor Potter and City Council we would like to have a working session with you on this issue. We look forward to your response.

Thank you & have a great weekend,
Montavilla In Action

Editors note: As we left the press conference we saw the below item adjacent to the play area at the Montavilla Community Center.

Monday, September 8, 2008

March to Reclaim 82nd Ave - Saturday Sept. 20 @11am

"March To Take Back Our Streets"
Neighborhood Safety / Reclaim 82nd Ave March" - Please join us!!!

Saturday, September 20th, 2008
Staging starts at 10:00am March leaves at 11:00am
Please join your fellow neighbors to have a united walk in OUR neighborhoods. This is a family friendly event, so please bring your children, dogs, friends & neighbors. WE want to reclaim our neighborhood streets and draw attention to the recent increase in crime. WE want to show that it will not be tolerated. WE want to truly revitalize 82nd Avenue, but first WE need to uniteand show that these streets belong to US and not crime. WE need to be united & this March is an initial step to show that – WE are reclaiming OUR neighborhoods – "one step at a time". Please join us & make our communities safe.

Refreshments will be provided & coupons from the local businesses. We encourage you to bring your own signs, we will supply materials for signs for those that arrive early.

March Starts & Meets Up at: PCC SE Campus on corner of SE 82nd & SE Division FREE Parking at the PCC Parking lot – look for signs & the Meet Up tent. Route is Northbound along 82nd. Finish: Safeway Parking lot. Rain or Shine.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Taking back our neighborhoods, one street at a time.

On Friday night we met new neighborhoods east of Stark on SE 76 who have been so frustrated and unfortunately now feel unsafe because one house has been able to thrive and become a criminal base camp. (You can watch a bust of that house back in July, on our video links to the right). That house has recently sprung up to be a close outpost for the crime that originates on 82nd.

Ever since we have been active with Montavilla In Action, we have been talking with and sympathizing with our local neighborhood officers. They have repeatedly listened to us and came back with solutions that they can currently do to address crime without the PFZ. Friday's event was a great example how they went above & beyond to help these neighborhoods. It was a great, many turned out - all frustrated at how they do not feel safe on their own blocks. One lady in particular lives across from the house and has lived there over 40 years - unfortunately over the last 6 months she has been threathened by the pimps and drug dealers that crash at the house.

Media was at the event and even did a live feed from the event for the 6pm news.
Kate the Manager from Safeway was in attendance and provided refreshments. Kate has been a great community member she has gone out with our Montavilla Foot Patrol and has been working closely with the police. We urge you to please frequent the Safeway on NE 82nd - many of us have stopped and drive to their other locations. Starbucks provided coffee and too have been active in keeping the FuBon shopping center & parking lot safe.

Once again please thank our neighborhood officers for all of their hard work & for the increased presence and all of their efforts. The police can only do so much since the Mayor took the PFZ away, they are stepping up efforts and we appreciate that. Please email & thank them. Chief Rosie Sizer: Commander Mike Crebs:

Please especially thank Lieutenant Vince Elmore: (Lt Elmore has been very active in helping our communities - he is a great leader and we applaud his efforts. He worked in NE Portland a few years back and was key in taking back that neighborhood from criminals - he realize how important it is to send a clear message to criminals. He spearheaded Friday's event. Please thank him.

We'll be at the Montavilla Farmers Market today gathering more signatures to our petition.
Have a great holiday weekend.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Open letter to Mayor Potter & our City's Leaders - citing The Oregonian's support of reinstating the PFZ

We sent this email to Mayor Potter, Randy Leonards and the rest of City Council along with Chief Rosie Sizer today...

Dear Mayor Potter and our City Leaders -

Please take a brief moment and view the links below.

The Editorial Board of the Oregonian did a great piece in today's paper & stressed the reinstatement of the PFZ - they also gave a factual account of the history of the PFZ and how it gets incorrectly caught up in the issues regarding the DFZ. There is also a great letter to the editor from a retired Portland Police officer (attached) and the PFZ as an important tool in enforcing the crime.

We in Montavilla In Action, truly don't believe that if the PFZ was still in affect that our neighborhoods would currently be in such dire straits and all of these groups & summits would now be happening in response. We don't think that one week ago a known and convicted prostitute would have been caught up in a tragic turf war with a competing pimp (that recently moved here from LA) and that he would have been stabbed to death by her at 7:30pm on SE Morrison & 82 Ave, if the PFZ was still on the books. This is why we push on to save our streets.

Thank you to The Oregonian & Mr. Duddy for truly pointing out the critical mistake that was made last September. Perhaps you, our elected Leaders will correct it before the 1 year anniversary (Sept 30) of that tragic error in judgement? As we stated and asked before why would you not add it back as an additional tool until all of your other proposed solutions are funded and in place?

This summer has been tragic on many levels but at the heart of it are the stories we are hearing from our neighbors and how they and their families are now affected by this crime daily like never before - 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 young children - 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'. This crime is so rampant now, that if you are a lone woman or a girl in this area, that you are now viewed as a prostitute and your safety is now gone - this was NOT the case when the PFZ was enforced.

PLEASE HELP US & reinstate the PFZ.

Thank you again all for your efforts & have a great weekend,
Montavilla In Action

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

They need to hear from YOU.

>>>PLEASE CALL & EMAIL OUR CITY’S LEADERS & state why lifting the PFZ was a critical mistake (main reasons are listed below) and that it needs to be reinstated immediately to stem the critical nature of this crime and end this violent turf war that is being played out in our communities, and until all of their other solutions are in effect.

Please call them & tell them what you are dealing with daily, like the Little League parents that have to make an announcement before each game for the parents to sweep the field for needles & used condoms, or the neighborhood women who are afraid to now walk alone since they are being proposition and verbally assaulted in the middle of the day or now our young daughters too are having their safety compromised - our city's leaders need to hear from you.

Mayor Tom Potter: ph 503-823-4120 fax 503-823-3588
no direct email listed, link:

Maria C. Rubio - Mayor Potter’s Public Safety & Security Director
ph 503-823-3583

Mayor Elect Sam Adams: ph: 503-823-3008

City Commissioner Randy Leonard: ph 503-823-4682

Connissioner Nick Fish:
ph 503-823-3589
no direct email listed, link:

Amanda Fritz (running for city council): ph 503-235-2295

Jane Ames/ Sam Adams’ - Senior Policy Director - Education and Public Safety
ph 503-823-1126

Tom Miller/ Sam Adams’ - Chief of Staff ph 503-823-1121

>>>>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 DFZ's enforcement.

>>2. According to the Neighborhood Response TEAM (NRT) - calls regarding prostitution have quadrupled since last year this time. Cause & Effect - Zone is gone = crime has grown considerably & taken roots
>>3. We the citizens around 82nd Avenue are having our safety compromised each & every day (read our blog to hear comments from your neighbors - how neighborhood women are being threatened, neighborhood young girls/children are being propositioned in broad daylight).
>>4. Crime from all over is coming to 82nd – 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. Johns from all over the State & WA state are coming to our neighborhoods.
>>5. Until the city’s real solutions are in effect we need to immediately stem the crime that has taken over our communities.

ph. 503-823-0000

We have an updated handout with the contact info of our city's leaders, please click here for the document.


THANK YOU local businesses.

Montavilla & East Tabor Business Assoc backed our petition today - THANK YOU!

Thank you to Ty & Alema and the rest of the members of the METBA for allowing us to present the petition and talk with your group about our efforts. We appreciate all that you are doing and ask that our neighbors support our local businesses. We would love to help you and collaborate on additional efforts on how we combat crime in our community.

Members of METBA are looking into working with Trimet on cleaning up the bus stops, also how to get rid of those pay phones in those strategic locations which are being monopolized & used primarily by criminals. They are also going to look at how other neighborhoods (Burnside) addressed similar issues not too long ago.

A representative from McDonald's was in attendance and updated us on their efforts, in addition to signing the Trespass Agreement - they have permanently closed off the 2 entrances from 82nd Ave, so there is only 1 main entrance on SE Stark, they have keypad locks on the bathroom doors & the combos change daily. So far they have not committed to hiring a security guard but may be looking into to security cameras. Their are committed in their efforts and will start attending the METBA mtgs now that they are aware of them. We THANK them once again for all of their efforts. An idea that we suggested is why not utilize some of the parking lot & create a play structure/area similar to other McDonald's - wouldn't that be great for next summer to have families & kids in the lot, instead of the crime that we all have been dealing with?

Also Amanda Fritz (she is running for Sam Adams soon to be vacated position) attended the meeting as well and it was great to hear that she had heard of us and supported our efforts. She realizes how this area needs to have a stronger voice in city hall. We appreciate her words of support and outreach.

We appreciate all that the businesses are doing & we will continue to outreach to the local businesses. We hope that others with parking lots where crime is happening will sign "Trespass Agreements" - Wendy's, Safeway, Walgreen's - we have outreached to Officer Stephen Mirau to see how he/we can make this happen.

Woman charged in Portland prostitution-linked killing

Some alarming facts out of the article about Donyel Hormats (the accused) who was arrested 2 nights prior for prostitution:

"Investigators say Richardson (the deceased) either was trying to pimp Hormats, or give her trouble for competing with women he was pimping on the avenue. Hormats had been arrested two nights earlier, at 5:50 p.m. Wednesday at Southeast 84th Avenue and Yamhill Street. She was accused of attempted prostitution and prostitution procurement.

Richardson, a Los Angeles native, had prior felony convictions. On June 20, Gresham police stopped him after he allegedly threatened another man with a gun near the MAX platform at Southeast 181st Avenue and Burnside. They seized a .357 revolver from him. Police reports say he had the gun tucked behind his back in his waistband. He was accused of being a felon in possession of a firearm and unlawful use of a firearm. On July 30, he bailed himself out of jail and was on pretrial supervision. He had convictions for third-degree escape, third-degree robbery and second-degree theft."

This is another tragic example of how our streets have become caught up in a turf war now that the PFZ is gone. How many more killings/ retaliations will happen until the city puts into effect some immediate emergency measures - in addition to the long term "real solutions" that need to be funded and enforced?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Thank you Beets & KPTV.

Well since the Montavilla Farmers Market will not have a Community Booth at the Market this year (thru the remainder of Oct 5) & we do strongly hope that they have one next year - starting June 2009 - Beets have allowed us this week & beyond to set up a booth adjacent to the Market in their lot! Thank you Beets!!!

Once again we were out there today & many of you came out specifically to sign our petition to reinstate the Prostitution Free Zone. It is tragic that a murder occurded just 2 night ago at 8pm right in our community and the accused is a 19 yr old prostitute. This is just another example of how drastic and critical this level of crime has taken over 82nd since the PFZ was lifted last September. We are asking the city to reinstate the PFZ under an emergency status - we also ask that they please look at other solutions/tools in conjunction with the PFZ.

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 once, in the entire 18 pg doc. It was lumped with the issues surrounding DFZ's enforcement.

>>2. According to the NRT - calls regarding prostitution have quadrupled since last year this time. Cause & Effect - Zone is gone = crime has grown considerably & taken 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 being threatened, neighborhood young girls/children are being propositioned in broad daylight).
>>4. Crime from all over is coming to 82nd – it is well documented that many of women are being trafficked from Seattle, LA and beyond to work on the avenue due to our laxed laws. Johns from all over the State & WA state are coming to our neighborhoods.
>>5. Until Randy Leonard's "real solutions" are in effect we need to immediately stem the crime that has taken over our communities.

KPTV came out to the Market today to cover our efforts - they are commited to drawing attention to our neighborhood and the safety and livability issues we are now facing daily.
There should be a report tonight starting with the 5pm news. Thank you KPTV we appreciate your efforts!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Fatal stabbing over prostitution @8pm last night on SE 82 & SE Morrison.

Fight over prostitution leads to fatal stabbing
02:06 PM PDT on Saturday, August 16, 2008
A man who flagged down police after being stabbed on Friday night, died from his injuries on Saturday.

22-year-old Christopher Darrell Richardson died after he was stabbed Friday night near S.E. 82nd Ave in Portland.
Police said that 22-year-old Christopher Darrell Richardson flagged them down around 8:15 p.m. Friday near S.E. 82nd Avenue and S.E. Morrison Street.
Richardson had been stabbed in the chest and was taken to OHSU for treatment where he later died.
The suspect, 19-year-old Donyel Hormats was still at the scene and was taken into custody.
Homicide investigators said that the victim and suspect had been involved in an altercation for several days. They believe that the fight involved prostitution activity.

19-year-old Donyel Hormats was arrested at the scene of the stabbing.
Hormats has a history of arrests for prostitution.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Leaders of Our City - please listen & help us

In yesterday's Willamette Week - there was 1 page article about the blatant rise in the crime of prostitution along 82nd Ave and how our city is "dealing with it.

Some key highlights of the article:
"Last month, Sizer told Potter that she wanted to bring back a prostitution-free zone along Northeast and Southeast 82nd Avenue to battle a rise in streetwalkers on a strip otherwise known for its Chinese restaurants, low-rent motels, strip malls and used-car lots."

Thank you Chief Sizer for realizing what has happened in a very short time since the PFZ was lifted. Chief Sizer's officers are on the front line and see how quickly prostitution has taken over & formed roots on the Avenue since the the PFZ was lifted. She & her officers deal with us the neighbors daily and see how our safety & especially how our childrens' safety is affected. The PFZ needs to be reinstated to stem the crime & safety issues. Mr. Leonard's larger plan will no doubt take a while to come into being. We are still waiting on the 57 beds that were promised as a "solution" of lifting the ordinances last Sept. We urge Mr. Leonard & Mayor Potter (perhaps it should be Mayor-elect Sam Adams that is analyzing & spearheading because of the upcoming transition?)to truly listen & collaborate with Chief Sizer.

"Potter called a meeting in his office last Thursday, Aug. 7, after it became clear Leonard and Sizer were at odds on the issue. With Myers’ help, Leonard says he persuaded Potter and the other cops present to try his way. But Potter deferred the final decision to Sizer, who was not at the meeting."

We ask that our city try not to reinvent the wheel but look at how other big cities deal with the crime of prostitution - do not treat it the same way you treat crimes reagrding drugs - it is very different. At the heart of it is affecting the "demand" the johns. If the johns knew there was going to be tougher laws would that help as a deterrent? “John schools”, higher impound fees, posting johns online, what if they have to do work crew - pick up the used condoms/needles in our school yards, or in the parking lot of businesses/churches that we deal with daily, literally clean up 82nd? What if all of the Local Biz's signed Trespass Agreements put signs in their windows, united in this - would this help, etc - these are all bigger discussions that need to start now.
However at the heart of it should be the safety of the residents of this city and that is why the PFZ needs to be instated immediately.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Montavilla Neighborhood Assoc backs our petition.

Thank you David Linn, Montavilla Neighborhood Assoc & all who were able to attend tonight's Montavilla Neighborhood Assoc. Meeting. We are all very concerned members of this community and we all want to address the issue of crime in our neighborhood.

There is a lot of positive energy of people wanting to make our neighborhoods safer, but we also urge our elected officials to look to other cities on how they deal with the crime of prostitution. We are not the first to unfortunately deal with it and we can take key learnings from other cities, on how we enforce the johns - this should be at the heart of it, fees imposed on johns to help fund outreach for these victims/ women, etc - we have link on our blog on what other cities are doing.

We truly believe that the PFZ needs to be reinstated under an emergency status based on (if we are to dial into down to just 3 key simple reasons):
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 DFZ's enforcement.
2. According to the NRT - calls regarding prostitution have quadrupled since last year this time.
3. We the citizens around 82nd Avenue are having our safety compromised each + every day (read our blog to hear comments from your neighbors - how women are being threatened, children are being solicited in broad daylight).

Tonight's discussion was a great, great start. We, Montavilla In Action will pursue the petition reinstating the PFZ since this is at the heart of the safety issue. We will outreach to other Neighborhood Associations & Biz Assocs. to expand the dialogue and unite efforts - since all of Portland should have a zero tolerance on the blatant abuse of these women on our streets. 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. If the johns knew there was going to be tougher laws would that help as a deterrent? John schools, higher impound fees, posting johns online, what if they have to do work crew - pick up the used condoms in our school yards, or in the parking lot of Walgreens, literally clean up 82nd? What if all of the Local Biz's signed Trespass Agreements put signs in their windows, united in this - would this help, etc - these are all bigger discussions and I urge proposed next steps - when is the next Montavilla Prostitution Summit Mtg? I urge all of us to try to make the time and focus on the areas/ solutions that we are most passionate about.

In the meantime all those that are collecting signatures thank you so much.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Montavilla Community (Foot) Patrol on the news.

Please click here and see the coverage (video) by KGW of Brian and the Montavilla Community (Foot) Patrol. It aired last night and today - since KGW went along with the group on patrol last night. Brian and the group should be very proud of what they have accomplished in a few short weeks. Both of our groups have formed & mobilized since we saw the urgent need to take action now. Unfortunately as we now approach the 1 year anniversary of the end of the PFZ (Sept 27, 2007) we have seen in a very short time how crime, especially prostitution has formed substaintial roots and is flourishing in our neighborhoods. We cannot wait, we must push for an emergency reinstatement of the PFZ. We urge that other groups especially the Montavilla Neighborhood Assoc please join us and back the petition and get active in outreaching to the other Neighborhood Assoc & Biz Assoc - we all must unite. Please help us.

Thank you for being so supportive.

We had a great day at the Market today. Since we didn't have access to a community booth at the Market we made our own spot working out of the back of one of our car's - old school, grassroots style. It's amazing that in just 1 weeks time how many of you had heard about us or have already visited our blog - thank you. Many of you eagerly grabbed the pens out of our hands before we could even talk. Tomorrow our group will be attending the Montavilla Neighborhood Assoc and we are asking them to please back the petition. However in talking wiih many of you in Rosewood or South Tabor, Lents, Mount Tabor, etc - we have stressed & will push that all of the affected Neighborhood Assoc to unite since 82nd Avenue's crime is a ripple effect.

Just wanted to remind you that you can still download the petition here (click), along with the handout - click here and gather signtures yourself just email us & we can arrange for pick up. Thank you again.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

See you at the Market - tomorrow Aug 10th.

We will be at the Montavilla Farmers Market tomorrow - we look forward to seeing you there. We will be on the sidewalk since the Board of the Mrkt decided not to have a Community Booth for the remainder of the Market's season(thru Oct. 5). They cited many reasons for the denial-time being one of them, which we truly understand. We were hoping to HELP make this happen asap, we also volunteered our services & time if needed, to make a well needed collective Community booth for perhaps the Montavilla Neighborhood Assoc & Biz Assoc, Foot Patrol, updating neighbors on local events, issues (PFZ), etc. We hope that the Market is able to allow a Community Booth or even 2 (many local farmers markets have 2) for next year (June 2009). See you tomorrow at the Market!

What a great day in the park!

Thank you Oregon City Blessing Church for allowing us to share in such a wonderful day with you and your community today. What a great event that you provide for the neighborhood - especially for the children. To supply well needed school supplies for free and all of the fun activities today (the puppet show was very entertaining) is such an amazing endeavor on your part and should be well-commended. Once again we THANK YOU (especially Lisa) for allowing us to set up a table and outreach to our neighbors. We look forward to next year's!

Once again it was great to talk to our fellow neighbors, however we've heard far too many additional "horror stories" today - "one mother said while walking in the area with her 3 young children, cars have slowed down & propositioned her many times and unfortuntely she is looking to move".

Another mom said her young daughters ages 14 & 11 have been propositioned several times in the middle of the day.

Hearing these stories make us want to work even harder to make an emergency reinstatement of the PFZ ordinance happen sooner. It needs to happen. We've had a great response to our petition. Please email us & help us.