NEIGHBORHOOD COALITION SCHEDULES “TAKE BACK 82nd” TOWN HALL SUMMIT

First city-wide community meeting to discuss curbing prostitution on 82nd Avenue
 
PORTLAND, OR (August 14, 2008) -The Save NE 82nd Avenue Coalition (formerly Save Madison South), an non-profit organization created to improve livability along NE 82nd (and was integrally involved in opposing the proposed development of a
Wal-Mart on 82nd Avenue in 2007), has spearheaded a community-wide town hall summit to discuss the growing problem of prostitution along 82nd Avenue.   The “Take Back 82nd” Town Hall meeting is scheduled to take place on Monday, September 15th from 6-8:30pm at Vestal Elementary School located at 121 NE 82nd.   Anticipated attendance is expected to fill the 400+ seat auditorium, as all neighborhoods adjacent to 82nd Avenue will be invited from Killingsworth at the north end of 82nd to the Clackamas County line on the south end.
 
Citing independent efforts to curb prostitution from each of the individual neighborhoods, and a high number of concerned neighbors affected by prostitution taking place literally in their front yards, Save NE 82nd Coalition members realized that the time had come to unite all the efforts taking place.  A town hall has been set up by the group to pull all the city and neighborhood-wide anti-prostitution activities and concerns into a respectful, concerted and solution-oriented town hall meeting, with the purpose to promote a common understanding of how to empower citizens in combating this issue while assisting police enforcement efforts.  Organizers also have the goal of developing to a community problem-solving approach taking into account the prostitutes themselves.  One key emphasis of the meeting is to keep a humane approach to the women involved, as many are victims.
 
Invited speakers include Commissioner Randy Leonard, Commissioner Sam Adams, Lila Lee, Executive Director – Council for Prostitution Alternatives, Commander Mike Crebs – Portland Police Bureau East Precinct, Bill Smith, Executive Director – Defenders USA (group formed to help end demand for prostitution), Ken Turner -Chair of the 82nd Avenue of Roses Business Association, and Office Laura Wiley, Portland Police Bureau’s Vice Unit.
 
The solution-based and outcome-oriented agenda will focus closely on educating community members on root causes of prostitution and how it operates, provide perspectives from people working to stop prostitution, and empowering residents to take safe action steps to discourage prostitution activities on their property, in their street and neighborhood.