The Community Health and Safety Amendment Act of 2019 is the culmination of years of work advocating for the rights and protections of Sex Workers. First introduced in 2017, this legislation was carefully revised after thousands of hours of community engagement, petitions, and countless hours of meetings with community members and city council. After the Sex Worker Advocates Coalition (SWAC)* gained five council members’ support as sponsors and cosponsors, this thoughtfully crafted bill was reintroduced in June of 2019. In October of that year a monumental hearing was held that lasted well over 14 hours. Despite hundreds of DC residents testifying in favor of this groundbreaking legislation, outside detractors (both national and international) won out over local support. As a result of detractors' scare tactics it never made it out of the judiciary committee for a full vote.
Then, just as the SWAC was regrouping and ramping up efforts, Covid19 hit and the movement really stalled.
That brings us to the here and now. We need support for the movement as the coalition redoubles efforts to fight to Decriminalize Sex Work for the many who’s survival is dependent on this work.
We seek to:
- Halt harmful police interactions
- Promote freedom and increase sexual health
- Increase access to resources, housing, and healthcare
- Remove barriers to other employment opportunities
These barriers to safety, stability and health are particularly hardest on Black transgender women, femmes and gender non binary/non conforming folks. Most of whom have the least amount of access to safe housing and are most likely to be under employed/unemployable (due to lengthy criminal records for survival sex work).
Please sign on and join this fight. Your support of these human rights means critical change for so many. The time is NOW.
*The Sex Worker Advocates Coalition (“SWAC”) was formed in October 2016 as a small working working group discussing the current status of sex worker rights in the District. By January 2017, the coalition had established defined principles and guidelines. SWAC is a group of individuals and organizations promoting the human rights, civil rights and liberties, health, safety, and well-being of sex workers and people profiled as sex workers in Washington D.C. and advocating for legislation and other policy changes to challenge the system of criminalization of sex work. SWAC’s mission is to support and advocate for the full decriminalization of consensual sexual exchange in the District.