The Howl

Open letter to Travis County, Texas, District Attorney Jose' Garza

Mar 12, 2021

RE:    Decriminalizing sex work

District Attorney Garza,

I was elated when you won, congrats! You are the most important reason that I voted this past election, although I vote in every election.

I understand that you committed to decriminalizing sex work during your campaign. Thank you.  I can not think of any more sexist part of our criminal justice system. I believe that making a person a criminal is the highest form of public shame and oppression our society has left.


Prostitution laws have been used to prosecute women for crimes year after year while the equal partner in the transaction, the man, has walked free. This is pure gender discrimination and oppression of women. I write to find out what your plans are to decriminalize sex work in Travis County, and in Texas.


Will you immediately stop prosecuting sex work in Travis County? I imagine you know that District Attorneys in many United States jurisdictions have proclaimed that they will no longer prosecute sex work in their jurisdiction. Will you join them?


Will you promote the decriminalization of sex work at the Texas legislature through the Texas District and County Attorney’s Association (TDCAA)? I imagine that you know that a couple of sessions ago the Texas legislature passed a bill to reduce Prostitution to a Class C ticket, and only 4 members of the House and zero in the Senate voted against it! Governor Abbott vetoed it, although it was virtually unopposed in the House and Senate. I understand well how the TDCAA works, and strong urban District Attorneys can have massive influence there. So will you advocate for the position, within the TCDAA, that Texas decriminalize sex work? And if they refuse to take that position, will you support this effort at the legislature without them?


I am available for more discussion if you feel it would be useful. I was a trial attorney with my law office there by the Courthouse for over 20 years. I also lobbied at the lege on criminal justice policy during those years. Now, I’ve left that profession for the field of sex work for a myriad of reasons. Please consider me a resource.

I look forward to hearing from you.

River del Llano