FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 4, 2024
Sex Workers Call Foul on Los Angeles City Attorney Hydee Feldstein Soto’s Public Statements
Hydee Feldstein Soto’s NBCLA Interview Contained Numerous Outright Misrepresentations – Despite Claims About Good Governance
Los Angeles, California — Today, sex workers in Los Angeles condemned the City Attorney’s comments during an interview with the NBCLA Youtube channel.
In the interview the City Attorney, Hydee Feldstein Soto, consistently and erroneously referred to people arrested for misdemeanor prostitution as ‘sex traffickers’ or ‘sex trafficking victims’.
She also spoke approvingly of the Los Angeles Police Department conducting prostitution stings along the Figueroa Corridor in South Los Angeles. And then used the same misleading language about “trafficking” in justifying the Los Angeles Police Department naming and publicly shaming people arrested for misdemeanor prostitution in those stings – https://www.lapdonline.org/newsroom/six-suspects-named-in-prostitution-sting-operation-nr23795mo-dm/.
“Ironically, one topic in the interview was Soto’s desire to ‘restore confidence in city government’, said Maxine Doogan of the Erotic Service Providers Legal, Education and Research Project. “But by deliberately misrepresenting a portion of Los Angeles’ sex trade as ‘sex trafficking’, the City Attorney is ditching any notion of good governance in favor of furthering her political career on the backs of sex trade workers and our clients.”
Another false statement made by Soto in the interview was that the average age of those working as prostitutes in the south Figueroa quarter was 12 years old. This is completely wrong. And has been fact checked by news outlets and disproved numerous times – for example at https://eminism.org/blog/entry/62,https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2013/mar/02/diane-mckeel/Is-average-age-entry-sex-trafficking-between-12-an/, and https://www.jstor.org/stable/26340165.
“The LA City Attorney must be aware that this statement is untrue”, said Soma Snakeoil, Executive Director of The Sidewalk Project of Los Angeles. “By making this completely untrue statement in the interview with NBCLA, Soto justifies the continued use of the criminalization of prostitution laws to further state sponsored violence against the most marginalized people in LA. This keeps these vulnerable populations from accessing equal protection under the law, how convenient for her”.
The Stop The Raids Coalition Los Angeles branch is calling out the bad policy that criminalizes and harasses sex workers and our clients under the guise of rescuing sex trafficking victims.
Sex workers demand decriminalization!