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Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans is back on the vice beat. Evans, who ran for mayor last year on his record of cleaning up the 14th Street NW red light district, wants the District to start impounding or booting the cars of johns caught soliciting prostitutes in the District.
Claiming an “enormous increase in street prostitution,” Evans wants to bring back the tactic, which he originally pushed through in 1992 for a then-scuzzy Logan Circle. He did not cite any data for the increase.
“We even had a catchy phrase,” Evans said. “‘Honey, I lost the car.’”
Laws involving cars used in prostitution have had trouble in courts. Still, Evans hopes that embarrassing johns by taking their cars will prove more effective at curtailing prostitution than the District’s other attempts. Since the early 1990s, failed tactics at making the District less attractive for prostitution have ranged from outlawing right-turns on certain streets to, on one night, just marching sex workers across to Virginia.
Evans says the city can’t aim to entirely stop prostitution, only to become so unattractive for the business that it leaves for more hospitable jurisdictions.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery