ADVOCACY CAMPAIGNS

Campaign | 01

Human Trafficking Intervention Courts

Issue: In 2013, the New York State Court System announced 11 new Human Trafficking Intervention Courts, with the intention of treating people arrested on prostitution offenses as victims instead of criminals.
Campaign Tactics, 2013 - 2015
  • RedUP community organizers research and produce first sex-worker led study of the courts: Criminal, Victim, or Worker? Impacts of the Human Trafficking Intervention Courts on Adults Arrested on Prostitution-Related Offenses in New York

  • Report release on first anniversary of launch of courts frames the debate around the courts

  • Press coverage of report in New York Daily News, The Village Voice, The Nation, and more establishes framing and authority

  • Sex worker-led outreach and distribution of Know Your Rights materials at courts creates connection with court impacted people and set stage for organizing

  • Political education, storytelling, and advocacy trainings with court impacted people

Wins

  • Reform campaign led by trans women of color holds City Hall rally, 2015

  • City Council holds hearing on effectiveness of HTICs and produces Brief that heavily cites RedUP's report, 2015

  • Brooklyn District Attorney's staff and other key stakeholders attend RedUP report release and engage with report by sex workers, 2014

Campaign | 02

Access to Condoms

Issue: Police and prosecutors in New York were using condoms as evidence to arrest and convict people of prostitution-related offenses. This practice targets femme people, particularly trans women of color, and has a negative impact on public health, by making it unsafe to carry condoms. 
Campaign Tactics, 2009 - 2015
  • Political Education and Legislative Advocacy Trainings to support sex workers and trans/GNC people to speak to their representatives

  • Albany lobby days and in-district legislative meetings

  • Coalition building with AIDS service, human rights, reproductive rights, and LGBTQ organizations

  • Postcard comic campaign with 1000 cards sent to NYS Senators and Assembly members

  • Ongoing press strategy and social media strategy with stories from impacted people

  • Mayor's office call-in to demand fulfillment of campaign promise to ban condoms as evidence

Project | 02

Wins

  • Governor Cuomo's Executive Budget Partially Bans Use of Condoms as Evidence of Prostitution, 2015

  • NYPD Bans Use of Condoms as Evidence of Misdemeanor Prostitution & Loitering Offenses, 2014

  • No Condoms as Evidence Bill Passes NY State Assembly, 2013

  • Nassau and Brooklyn District Attorneys Support Banning Condoms as Evidence, 2013

Resources

Speak Up! Guides to Media and Advocacy

Speak Up! Guide to Strategic Media Tactics and Tools to Amplify the Voices of People in the Sex Trades

This 36 page guide was developed along with the Speak Up! media spokesperson training for sex workers that Audacia Ray co-created in 2006 and evolved into a weekend long intensive training. The guide was published in 2013 for people with experience in the sex trades who want to speak publicly – in mainstream and community produced media – about their experiences and offer their political perspective. The guide and the workshop taught participants to create strategic responses to media and public events impacting people in the sex trades.

Speak Up! Doing Legislative Advocacy for Change
in New York

This 16 page guide was developed during the Access to Condoms campaign and used to train people impacted by the criminalization of sex work to do legislative advocacy around the bill. The guide was published in 2012 and includes basic information about how New York City and State legislative processes function and best practices for meeting with legislators.

photo credit: milesmaker