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I stand by my statement that prostitution has largely moved out of the immediate Logan Circle neighborhood and more into the business districts to the south, and no, I’m not a real estate agent promoting Logan Circle, as Bob Roehr guesses in his letter (The Mail, 5/29). I just live here, and in fact am a veteran of the prostitution wars dating back to the mid-1970s.
Mr. Roehr might be interested in a war story: In the spring of one memorable year (1974), when prostitutes were a fairly common sight in the historic district itself, a group of us neighbors had the bright idea of banding together and picketing them, in the naive belief that if we could just attract media attention, the system would respond somehow and this unpleasantness would go away, like the Nixon administration. Well, we did get the attention of both local newspapers and all the local radio and TV stations, as well as the three major TV networks, which were all only too happy to showcase this juicy story on their national news broadcasts.
Guess what? That summer our streets were glutted with prostitutes from all over the United States and a number from other countries. Thanks to all this free advertising, there were literally platoons of prostitutes drifting up and down 14th Street and johns flocking in from all over to patronize them. That cured many of us of the strategy of trying to attract media attention. Instead, we’ve concentrated over the years on quietly working with the police, courts, and city council to ameliorate the problem. To a large extent we’ve succeeded in the immediate area, as anyone who cares to stroll through can see.
The situation Mr. Roehr cited at his location (which, incidentally, is nearer Thomas Circle than Logan) is evidence that we still have a way to go to convince prostitutes, pimps, and johns alike that nowhere in D.C. is a good place to do business, and especially not the near-downtown residential areas. Perhaps Mr. Roehr is one of those individuals who still think that publicizing precisely where prostitution takes place is a wonderful idea. By specifying his own address as the summer high season begins, he’s giving this notion another little test. Maybe it’ll work better for him than it did for us.
via the Internet