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TACOMA Seven more mayors across Washington state have joined a political battle against a website.

Backpage.com continues to be in the crosshairs of political leaders, who claim the site contributes to child sex trafficking. The website is owned by Village Voice Media, the parent company of the Seattle Weekly, and contains ads for escorts and other adult services.

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and Seattle City Council members joined to denounce the site over how it authenticates users.

Monday, the mayors of Tacoma, Shoreline, Bellingham, Spokane, Kennewick, Moses Lake, and Pullman signed a letter asking Backpage.com to take further steps.

We want them to verify the identification of people and make them show photos so they know exactly who is involved, said Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland, who signed the letter, and believes in-person proof will limit exploitation of children.

She says the Tacoma Police Department is currently working on 16 cases of juvenile prostitution related to Backpage.com.

If there is one child involved in juvenile prostitution, it s worthy of our attention, said Strickland.

A Backpage.com spokesperson declined comment on the new letter Monday night, and referred to a letter from the Village Voice Media s CEO earlier this month. That letter says the company believes child sex trafficking is a web based problem which requires a web based solution , and the company is working with firms which will be able to pinpoint age and identity verification online.

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