Letters to City regarding SOAP Ordinance
Quite a few Midtowners have written to city council members in response to our call for action on the proposed SOAP Ordinance. We share with you some notable excerpts (PDF version with more of these letters in separate file).
#1: I’ve had a prostitute stab a neighbor in the chest with scissors on my front porch, had my husband attacked by a band of 7 prostitutes, been threatened by a pimp, had our cars repeatedly broken into and once rammed in retribution for calling police, found used condoms, drug paraphernalia, fouled toilet paper and human waste on our property.
#2: I am a Midtown resident who wanted to express her support of the SOAP ordinance, banning prostitutes from our neighborhood once they are caught and on probation. We have seen crime waves over the years here in Midtown, which are partially connected to prostitutes, who also bring drug deals and other crimes into our area.
#3: For those of you who are not exposed to these street walkers on a regular basis, let me explain why it is a problem that needs more effective enforcement tools. First, most of these people are not quiet and reserved. They are aggressive and often intimidating to those of us who are attempting to enjoy our neighborhood. When one of my neighbors attempted to chase away a prostitute at Fourth and Penn, he was hit on the head with a rock concealed in a purse. This is occurring in a neighborhood that has seen a tremendous influx of families with children. Second, used condoms and tissue are routinely left in the street, or on the sidewalks, or in the alleys. These aren’t things that children should have to be exposed to. Third, prosititutes apparently fill their time between tricks eating, and discard all of their trash on the streets and sidewalks. I frankly get tired of seeing the piles of trash they leave at their regular hang-outs.
#4: We continue to experience a terrible, terrible prostitution problem in this neighborhood. Many times I have walked outside my front door and have witnessed sexual activities taking place, and involving these prostitutes (and, of course, have called 911). The police are very responsive, but the problem continues to occur and utilizes valuable resources of the City. We have used condoms littered on the sidewalks and belligerent prostitutes walking the streets at night. There is no question in my mind that drug-use by these prostitutes is occurring as well.The SOAP ordinance may very well be the answer to solving the prostitution problem in my neighborhood.
#5: [Our customers] have recounted countless stories of being accosted, verbally and physically, and often it has been from a repeat offender. We have called the Atlanta Police Department frequently over our history and have always received prompt, courteous and professional assistance, often resulting in the arrest of an individual that is more times than not recognizable by the responding APD officer. I am here to tell you that all too often, that very same individual is right back in our neighborhood repeating the same offenses that resulted in their arrest.
#6: We subscribe to the theory that we are better than this, and that we as citizens of Atlanta, must take pride in our great City including recognizing when to say, enough is enough!
- PDF file with these letters: http://www.midtownponce.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/soap-letters1.pdf
We still need for folks to write to city council members expressing support for the SOAP legislation and sharing community members’ points of view regarding the long-standing problem of street prostitution in the neighborhood. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (this will reach all City Councilors and the Council President) and be sure to copy us at email@example.com so we can gauge community support for this legislation.
Also, there will be a work session for the city’s Public Safety Committee on Monday (2/11) at 1:30pm, in Committee Room #2 at City Hall (55 Trinity Street). We need a good showing at this meeting. This work session will focus entirely on the SOAP Ordinance. From there it goes to the regular Public Safety Committee meeting the next day for a recommendation to City Council. After that, City Council will likely vote on the Ordinance at its next meeting. We will follow this closely, and report on its progress accordingly.
Slide Show: Street Prostitution in Midtown
RELATED POSTS AND RESOURCES:
- Call to Action: SOAP Legislation
- About the proposed SOAP Ordinance
- SOAP Legislation paper from City Council
- Notes on Street Prostitution in Midtown