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This March 2008 letter from the ACLU to Asheville Assistant City Attorney Curt Euler outlines the ACLU’s stance on the Asheville Police Department’s policy of publicizing prostitution arrests.
Click here to download a PDF of the document.
I am for the use of the photos of prostitutes on the government access channel and the sending of postcards to the solicitors. This is a letter I wrote to Katherine Lewis Parker in response to her letter to Mr. Curt Euler.
“Dear Ms. Parker,
I am contacting you in regard to the letter you wrote to Mr. Curt Euler of Asheville’s City Attorney’s Office concerning the APD’s New Measures Regarding Prostitution. I am an Asheville resident in an area that is known for its’ prostitution and drug dealing. It is very difficult to live in this section of town but, my landlord is kind and attentive, the rent is reasonable, and my neighbors are pleasant people, so I continue to do so. I do not own a vehicle so I walk most places including but not limited to: work, doctor visits, the bus station, coffee shop, grocery store, etc. I cannot walk anywhere in the evening. There is not a day that goes by that I am not approached as a possible sex worker. I work an 8 to 10 hour day at Earth Fare, an all natural grocery store with two locations in Asheville, then I walk home. I pay my taxes, my dog has a city license, my rent gets raised for my landlord’s property tax hikes, generally I follow all city laws. I can’t even walk home after a hard day of work without being bothered by people looking to pay for sex, and not just bothered, sometimes verbally abused, stalked and given much cause to be alarmed. Another astonishing fact is that all of this goes on in the very close vicinity of the middle school, where children walk to and from on a daily basis. I can’t even begin to describe to you in words the relief I felt when I found out that the APD was doing something pro-active about the prostitution problem here in my neighborhood. Maybe these problems are not problems you can relate to. Maybe you are not solicited on a daily basis. Maybe people don’t park on your street with the prostitute they paid and receive oral sex. Maybe you’ve never had a gun pulled on you when you told said individuals to remove themselves from in front of your house. I have. I understand you want to protect people’s basic rights but, what about my rights? Don’t I have a right to live in a neighborhood where I can walk my dog or go for a run or even just walk home from work without being bothered by men who are verbally abusive and lecherous? Just the other day I was walking home from a physical therapy appointment, there was a man cruising up and down the area where prostitutes are known to work and when he couldn’t find one to pick up, do you know what he did? He parked his vehicle and proceeded to masturbate while watching me walk down the street. An individual like this not only deserves to have a postcard sent to him but much, much more. I feel mentally and emotionally violated on a daily basis by these behaviors perpetuated by the sex workers and their employers, the pimps with the guns. APD is doing something about this and you and the ACLU want to put a stop to it? Why doesn’t the ACLU come up with a way to protect my rights to be safe in my neighborhood? Prostitution is illegal. Soliciting prostitutes is illegal. What the APD is doing is trying to put a stop to the illegal activities. If you and the ACLU choose to take the approach that these may be drug addicted, abused or coerced women performing these illegal activities then why doesn’t the ACLU come down to my neighborhood and pick up the prostitutes and give them a ride down to the homeless shelter, the YWCA or the Salvation Army all located within a mile or two of where they “work”?
I hope to receive a response from you and/or another representative of the ACLU.
Geniúne M. Bedini
Asheville, NC resident”
I thought I would share that as it precisely relays my feelings on this issue.
Mar 21, 2008 at
I understand the point of view of the lady that cannot walk at night in the street of Asheville (less safe than New York???) without being percieved as a prostitute.. Must be frustrating .
Regarding prostitution in general :
Now in the better of a world , love and sexuality should be just one . Unfortunatly not everyone has been granted a attractive mind and body . So what’s left for the forgotten , the lonely , the frustrated church goers or even politicians ? ;-)
As long as this nation believe in the dream of a perfect Christian nation , refusing to include Sexuality as normal and pleasure as needed, instead at pointing at sin and suffering as the normal way in life , we will witness deviations like pedophilia and degrading acts towards women and men of all age .
Legalize it ( like in Nevada) , and control it into houses of pleasure (red lantern, bordello.. ), protect its workers(no slavery here when the women choose to do it )with heath services and you will see a decrease in sex crime, a decrease in AIDS diseases and a decrease in bigotry towards the enjoyment of all our senses .
Mar 11, 2009 at
Of course, I never received a response from the ACLU about my letter.
Of course, I realize the ability to manage issues surrounding prostitution if legalized.
It just frustrates me that people who do wrong can go unpunished just because they are protected by the ACLU or some other greedily drooling group or lawyer, while I struggle to protect myself on a daily basis.
Here’s another story from a recent walk home on the first warm day this year. I think it was Saturday, March 7th. I was walking home from work in full garb. Chef pants, work bag, adidas, etc. As I crossed the intersection of Clingman/ Hilliard and walked closer to the park, I noticed a black female walking on the other side of the street. I wondered to myself if she was a prostitute as her skirt was very, very short. However, her clothes matched and she had a nice pair of shoes on and a weave. All of this added up in my head to the decision that she probably wasn’t a prostitute as most of the prostitutes in this area are: drugged out zombies in sweatpants, ripped jeans, no makeup, uncombed hair, messes. So, I see a car pull up next to her and then she starts yelling. So, I assume she has just been harassed and I ask her if she is ok. At this point I swear I fell down the rabbit hole. She walks into the middle of the street with cars coming in both directions and stands on the yellow line screaming across to me that she had just gotten out of jail and that was a customer of hers that is married and had “tricked” her the night before without a condom, and she (said prostitute) had gotten his wifes’ phone number and called her to tell her about it. I felt like my head was going to explode. I was trying to make sure that she was ok and then I get all of this crap dumped into my brain. I just wanted to get as far away from her as I could. She finished crossing the street and I told her that I didn’t like prostitutes in general and especially not in my neighborhood. I informed her that I was going to call the police and in my mind I knew this was going to get ugly but, I refuse to stand down in my neighborhood. The thought that she “tricks” without condoms just kept going thru my mind and having a person want to fight with me while possibly infected by who knows what from such unsavory behaviour really was freaking me out. Just then a silver minivan with a middle aged white man pulls up. “Are you looking for something to do?” She says, “Yeah.” He responds, “Not you, her.”, pointing at me. At this point I notice he’s wearing a wedding ring. I yell, “You better take what you can get with her (pointing at the real prostitute) and get the hell outta here!!” So, she gets in the minivan and he pulls away. Usually I take my phone out and take a picture of the license plate or memorize the license plate number of the solicitor and then I call the police with a description of solicitor and vehicle. I was so shaken from the events I was just kind of standing there and the police drive right by, right behind them and I’m waving my arms trying to flag down the police and they don’t even pay attention. This all happened at around 3 p.m. on a sunny saturday afternoon. Business as usual in the South French Broad neighborhood, I guess, as no one paid the whole thing any mind.
It’s no wonder I don’t want to walk in my neighborhood.
What a story ! it reminds me of one in PARIS ..
Near the Chmps Elyses i see a man beating a lady . As a good protector of peace ... i run to the guy and ask him strongly to stop hitting her or i will hit him too… The lady turn to me and start yelling at me that this is not my business and tell me to get out of here !...
I was so stunned about her reaction ! aaaah i just could not believe it ...
If i see someone beating a kid .. You know parents loosing their cool and threathening to hit their kids ... i usually ask the mother or the father (ironically)if i could hit the kid too ! saying ” .. i hate kids too!” you should see their face ... they stop right away !
Humor has been a good tool to de- dramatize issues . In term of prostitution , i think we should really protect women from being slave sex under a pimp !
also sex ed at school , as the issue and a new law is coming is good . We are making progress toward EDUCATION!