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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

US DEPT. OF HOMELAND SECURITY BLUE CAMPAIGN

Dear Morgan:

I produced PSA's for years that produced wonderful results for our 12 step program until we were no longer afforded free commercials after the passing of the Telecommunications Act of 1995 (we were founded in 1987).  Since then, we have been denied many media's paid advertising for fear we would "upset their other advertisers who support the sex industry".  

This does not stop us from doing our outreach however.  Our social media along brings in a couple of hundred contacts a day, with our hotline receiving at least a few calls a day as well.  We have 50,000 subscribers to our blog currently, and 190,000 "active" members in our database who are survivors.  In other words, we know what works and what does not with respect to prompting those who need help to reach out and call us.  So if you'd like some input on your PSA's - we'd be happy to provide that.   

I have heard the "Blue Campaigns" current radio commercials and I assure you no one we're aware of would respond to that type of commercial.   Maybe you're looking for someone different than we are - but I don't think so.  Our hotline and program reaches out to those who want to leave any part of the sex industry for any reason - including trafficking.  However, we acknowledge that while most alcoholics won't admit they're an alcoholic even after their first meeting at AA - they will easily admit they need help with their drinking problems.   So if you'd like our input on future PSA's - we'd be happy to provide you with that.  

However, might I point out something else?  It's my understanding in California SB1193 was passed requiring certain types of businesses to have signs posted with the National Trafficking Hotline.  We did a random check at many of these types of businesses - including massage parlors, strip clubs, and porn performer agencies, as well as porn production companies.  Not a one of these had the signs legally required of them to be posted.  When we checked with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, the legal advisers to the outreach campaign that was supposedly organized to mail out letters from both the city and district attorney's of Los Angeles informing business owners these signs be posted - no such mailing was done to massage parlors nor strip clubs.  The reason was because they said "many of these types of businesses were not properly licensed" and therefore they "did not know what address to send these notices to".

We offered to provide them with a listing we know of that "johns" use to buy services at these local companies - and we were ignored.  

A sign company offered to donate us free signs so we could make up signs that met the legal requirements of SB1193, and to include our hotline for adults, and the hotline for Children of the Night | Rescuing America's Children from Prostitution for juveniles, along with posters of missing children in the area suspected to be sex trafficking victims.  We then started doing contacts to these types of local businesses who said they "knew nothing about the law" and "if they were provided with something that showed them they would lose their license if they did not post these signs they would then comply".  

I then went to find out WHO was responsible for issuing the citations for non-compliance.  I thought well we'll go and give them a sign and if they refuse to hang them I'll call "so and so" and have a citation issued.  I contacted Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher's representative, along with the Board of Supervisors, the city and district attorney, the Jewish Womens' Federation and CASTLA about who would be the person to call.  

I received no answer from anyone other than a phone call to the city attorney said "call the local police station".  I don't know if you've read the news about the cops out here who have been raping prostitutes- but there's a lot more that aren't in the news that we're hearing about here in Los Angeles.  Cops who are trying to cover their back-sides and don't want us hanging up hotline signs. I know that because we attempted to make contact with over 10 police station chief's about this issue only to have ALL of them refuse to even speak to us about the issue, let alone agree to come out and help us get these signs hung.

I then contacted CAST and spoke to Stephanie.  She said "oh no we don't want any more posters hung right now because we have a waiting list a year long for housing".  I said "frankly what has your waiting list got to do with this?"  She said "because we have a year long waiting list - we're not going out seeking anyone else at this time".  I told her that we don't work with lists and we get those who need help housing immediately for their needs.  I told her if "waiting lists are the issue I'd be happy to come show her and her staff how we get housing immediately for victims needing to flee for free".  Her response was "oh no - we don't want to reduce the list because that might jeopardize our funding we're asking for at the upcoming fund raiser" which was asking for $50,000 a plate.

When we attempted to start doing sign outreach in Pasadena, I asked the Pasadena Chief if he would have an officer in the area be on alert we were going to go into these establishments and we might have some owners who didn't want to comply and might get rough with us.  We received no response at first.   When we started to go into some massage parlors in the city, we did receive a phone call from a man identifying himself as an attorney who threatened us with a "restraining order" if we "tried to come back and speak to any of his clients in the future".  When we asked him to identify who his clients were - he refused to answer us.   I then went over the Chief's head and started speaking to the mayor, city council, city manager, etc. which must have angered the Chief because I then started having him call my house five times a day asking me to "come into the station to talk to him about this".

At the same moment as he started calling me, a woman who runs a group called Abeni, which is a group connected to the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force, started writing online that I was "stalking her"  and "threatening her" and she was "afraid to leave her home because of my intimidating her" and honestly I had no idea what she was talking about as I had not even spoken to her previously in any way.  When I did reach out to her to say basically "what are you talking about?" she then started asking people where I lived so she could "send out an officer to have me hauled off on a 5150 charge".  I'd also like to point out the Pasadena Chief resides in Orange County and I have documented conversations with them online previous to these false accusations against me.  

It became very clear that if I were to go into the Pasadena Police Station - that I'd be carted off on a 5150 charge.  Now after what happened to Sandra Bland - I'm not about to just trust that I'll be okay in police custody or otherwise.  Not when there's been a witness in the Los Angeles jails who "disappeared" for three days within the system, and the man who has been named head of the Los Angeles Trafficking Task Force was named into his position by Paul Tanaka, the man connected to this missing witness who has now stepped down because of corruption charges also.  Now how he got put in charge of his own investigation into a shooting death he caused I have no idea - but I certainly don't want to be put into ANY custody in Los Angeles right now with all these Police Chief's stepping down because of corruption charges - no thank you.

So we have a team of survivors willing to go out there and hang up free signs with the National Trafficking Hotline number where it's legally required to be posted - however, if we're not getting any back-up from the local police to issue citations and to protect us if we're threatened - we're not doing it.  I say that because I have asked for return phone calls from the Los Angeles, San Diego, Long Beach, and Orange County Human Trafficking Task Forces about complaints we're receiving in our hotline - and we get no response.  We have asked to be put on their mailing lists so we can attend their meetings - and we get no response.  We have asked to speak at some of their meetings, and we've had secretaries come back and tell us there "is no time" for us to make any statements at these meetings. 

Now considering it was OUR program who founded the first hotline on this issue, and the first alternative to incarceration program in this country, as well as the first safe house, and the first outreach teams here in 1987, and it was our program who defeated a proposition that the legal brothels tried to push to expand into California - I would think these task forces would value our contribution, our members' volunteer efforts, our experiences, etc.  Since they are receiving federal grants, and we are the oldest and largest group of survivors based in Los Angeles county - I would also think they would welcome our involvement. 

So if the goal of your PSA's is to get more calls into the hotline - then having these signs posted where they are required to be posted would be a good idea.  Los Angeles has not been our only area of issue.  It's also a law for the signs to be posted in all bars in Texas.  We have three chapters of SWA in Texas and members who would love to get these signs posted - however all of our members there are lacking in transportation.  Our sign company is in Los Angeles who offered to donate free signs - requiring shipping expenses.  I've got members who have offered to get these signs posted if they were to get as little as $250 a week to cover their gasoline and expenses.  We even have a member who donated us a Mandarin and Korean translation to be posted in the nail salons in Texas because that's where we get our most calls from.

I hate to see you repeat what is happening with the billboards.  ATLAS in Las Vegas in 2007 spent $80,000 on a billboard - and got not one call.  Oakland spent $1,000,000 on billboards and got ONE human trafficking, not sex trafficking call in 2013.  Alameda County spent $375,000 on billboards and didn't get one call in 2015.  Los Angeles spent $1,000,000 on billboards in 2014 and they got not one single call.  I saw San Jose spend $30,000 on bus stop signs and they didn't get one single call.  

The reason for that is because VICTIMS DON'T READ BILLBOARDS.  I warned Los Angeles back in 1987 not to spend $30,000 on bus stop signs and they didn't listen.  They also didn't get one all.  Now I think it's because the brother-in-law of the head of the board that voted on the grant sold bus stop signs they spent that $30,000 that way instead of the van I had suggested that would pick women up as they got released from jail before the pimps did "at the bottom of the hill" as it was with the womens' jail back then because by the time they hit that McDonald's at the bottom with the pimps waiting - it was over by then.

The only radio and TV PSA's that ever worked for us was the ones who ran in the middle of the night on network TV again before 1995.  After the networks have come into being in control of the media - most survivors are not watching stations like ABC, CBS, etc.  Nor are they listening to radio stations like KOMP that I've heard your "Blue Campaign" commercials on either.   In fact, every where I've heard and seen your previous PSA's before today are NOT places that victims needing help would see them.  So frankly I'm surprised you're getting any calls.

Now I know where I place media that's responded to by victims and does quite well.  That's how I hear about what's going on from victims, and then I try and make reports to your committee, to the task forces, to the police chief's, to the attorney general's, and no one will call me back to take a look at the information I'm receiving, or to speak to the victims who make the horrible mistake it seems to call our hotline.  I say that because the minute they do - no one else will call me back to help them even when their juveniles.   

I get a call for example about an operation trafficking in 13 year old girls off Boulder Highway in Las Vegas out of an auto sales yard and no one calls me back about what these girls are saying is happening.  I just loaded them up myself after having no one return my calls and took them to www.childrenofthenight.org   

I then told the owners I had reported their activity to the police and let them know I'd taken the girls into California - and after having my RV stolen the next day, then returned to me with a bomb put in our exhaust system which luckily I found before it blew up, this auto sales yard packed up and shut down their lot and disappeared.  Shame, because the owner/manager told me he "used to run girls out of a strip club in Chicago" and therefore I would have thought someone would have liked to make a report out on the guy before he skipped off - but hey if no one calls me back about it what am I supposed to do?

Meaning I know how to get calls but my hands are being tied right now because no one seems to want to help me when the calls come in, nor in doing our outreach.  Just an FYI to your PSA campaign.

Jody Williams
(818) 646-3295









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