The Local is Political
The Queens, New York District Attorney race continues to trudge on between pro-decrim, former public defender Tiffany Caban and establishment and pro-real estate development candidate Melinda Katz. They go to court over 114 provisional ballots. The results of the election were close enough to trigger a recount, which wrapped up this week with Katz in the lead by 60. The 114 provisional ballots were originally rejected for improperly filled-out paperwork, and will be reviewed by a judge as soon as August 6.
One borough over, in Manhattan, civil rights attorney and decarceration activist Janos Martin is challenging incumbent Cy Vance, Jr. for District Attorney. Vance has been vocal in his opposition to decriminalization.
And while he doesn't expect to win, actor John Sewell is intent on bringing the conversation on decriminalization of sex work and drugs by running for Mayor of Nashville, TN.
California's Immunity Bill is on the Governor's desk waiting for a signature to become law.
Sex Work is Healing
In Australia, someone from the disability community is asking for sessions with sex workers to be covered as an expense by the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Portland is accepting submissions for the upcoming Sex Workers' Art Show. Deadline is Aug 15.
Dancers in Minneapolis are turning out for a public hearing on an ordinance to improve working conditions in the city.
And related, Dancers across the country are organizing for a range of labor rights, and this article dives into some of those efforts.
August 15 - 18 is the upcoming Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit (of which Slixa is a key sponsor) , which includes a full sex worker track and a day-long, sex worker-only Institute: Justice and Change. And there's a drawing each week of registrations!
Sept 4-8 is Sex Down South in Atlanta, which will cover a range of topics under sex uality, including sex workers' rights.
Things Are Coming to a Head
And with every struggle, the more traction that sex workers and the movement to decriminalize gain, the larger and more visible the pushback will be (if it was going to be easy, we'd have it by now, right?).
This week, a few groups who are against decriminalization became more vocal in their opposition, and the SWAC Coalition (the group pushing for decriminalization in Washington, DC) took to Twitter to push back. The coalition refuted claims and multiple times invited a more open conversation, and showed Twitter how powerful it is to watch this amazing coalition stand up for their lives and rights:
The group, a fierce coalition including HIPS, BYP100, Coalition for Access to Safer Spaces and No Justice No Pride also held a strategic planning day this week to figure out how they're going to move their work over the finish line.
And in New York, DecrimNY stepped back from a panel they had been invited onto when it was discovered that the event was using anti-sex work imagery and language in the invites, and planned to include a representative from the Cook County Sheriff's Office (because there aren't enough cops in New York). DecrimNY took the opportunity to canvas outside the church (which continued to hold the panel, despite the absence of anyone actually impacted by decriminalization appearing on the panel), and share the importance of decriminalization. Watch part of their work below.
Well apparently that didn't work for one of the speakers (a long standing anti-sex work service provider), who called in the presence of NYPD both inside and outside of the church. And in a move which should surprise no one, law enforcement targeted an incredible organizer who is a Black trans women, and when the event let out, attendees began yelling offensive and derogatory things at the group. Read their full report-back.
While it's been a hell of a week, you can't see this and not be struck by the incredible power of sex workers to come together and demand dignity, rights and safety. They wouldn't be so damn scared if they weren't struck by it, too.
Back to the grind.