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Mayor Bowser Launches New Initiatives to Reduce Prostitution, Illegal Dumping Along Eastern Avenue

Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Announces Working Group to Divert Sex Workers Toward Support Systems, Task Force to Stem Illegal Disposal of Used Tires

(Washington, DC) – Today, while leading a community walk along Eastern Avenue with Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the creation of new initiatives aimed at reducing sex work and stemming the rise of illegal hauling and disposal of used tires along the border of Ward 7 and Prince George’s County. The District and Prince George’s County will form a cross-border collaboration to take on tire dumping.

“Whether it’s around housing, public safety, or environmental issues – when DC does better, Prince George’s does better; when Prince George’s does better, DC does better,” said Mayor Bowser. “We’re committed to working together – not just across administrations, but with the residents who live near the border – to find solutions that work for all of us. Issues of sex work and illegal dumping don’t stop at our borders, so neither will we.”

Mayor Bowser announced a new Working Group on Sex Worker Diversion, led by Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants Director Michelle Garcia. The working group will explore programs to divert people engaged in sex work away from the criminal justice system and into the support systems they need. The group’s membership will include representatives from District government agencies, advocates, policy experts, and community representatives. The working group will provide recommendations on how to design and launch an arrest diversion program, using the lessons learned from DC’s pre-arrest diversion program headed by the Department of Behavioral Health, DC Department of Human Services, and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). Sex workers frequently cross back and forth across the DC/Maryland border to avoid police officers.

Mayor Bowser also announced a new Tire Dumping Enforcement Task Force, led by the Mayor’s Office of the Clean City, which has improved coordination of inspection and enforcement across District agencies. The Dumpbusters program, a partnership of MPD’s 6th District, Department of Public Works, and Department of Energy & Environment, has led to the arrest of more than 100 individuals for illegal dumping over the past two years.