Happy Monday! We have a short list of needs, both ongoing and coming up.

We need:

Bartenders and bar backs for SEAF in April – two shifts per night, two nights, two bartenders and two bar backs per shift.

  • We get to keep all the tips we earn to put towards the function of our organization and volunteers get free entry.
  • Bartenders need to have their Mandatory Alcohol Serving Training to volunteer as bartender but not as backs. Find more information about MAST on the WA State Website (https://lcb.wa.gov/mastrvp/mandatory_alcohol_server_training)

People with skills to share!

  • This year’s celebration around March 3rd will have private socializing time, skill shares, shared meals, and more.
  • So far, we have plans to share:
  • -how to quickly and easily create and sell audio clips online
  • -how to apply a condom with your mouth
  • -tips and tricks for blowjobs that won’t hurt your jaw, but will impress your partner
  • More information about this event to come: check back later this month for more.

We are looking for original writing, fiction or non, by active or retired sex workers. We would like to showcase a variety of individual stories here in the Seattle blog roll and are willing to pay 50$ for a 500 word essay. Editing and ghost writing available.

We have an ongoing call for coats, hygiene products, and toiletries to help stock Aileens and for the green light project.

 

UPDATE: SWOP USA looking for new Executive Director

Apply here to help lead the national movement to support sex workers, educate the public, and press for harm reduction strategies and legislation nationwide.

 

SWOP Seattle has a robust network of allies and supporting groups working towards our common goal of ending violence and stigma through education and advocacy. Here is what they’ve been up to.

 

From our ally, the Coalition for Rights and Safety:

January is the National Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Many events throughout the month, including:

– National Human Trafficking Awareness Day event @Seattle City Hall. Friday, 1/10 @8:30a.
– Federal Way CAT/SAS forum on homelessness and human trafficking @Federal Way City Hall. Thursday, 1/16 @7p.
– 2nd Annual Healthcare Alliance Summit (SAS/FWCAT/Stolen Youth). Wednesday, 1/22 @8:30am.
– Queers United to End Exploitation training @Children and Family Justice Center a.k.a. NEW YOUTH JAIL. Wednesday, 1/29 @9am.

CEGV annual meeting at South Seattle College Georgetown Campus on Thursday 1/23 @9am. This has been where all the amazing folks in the anti-violence movement come together once in a year.

SAFE Sex Workers Study Act was introduced in the U.S. House and Senate, led by Rep. Ro Khanna of California. Co-sponsors include our own Rep. Pramila Jayapal as well as Rep Barbara Lee, Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ron Wyden.

The coalition reports on new legislation relevant to our community:

House Bill 1687 (Limiting defenses based on victim identity) becomes particularly important after the murder of 17-year old trans woman Nikki Kuhnhausen in Vancouver, Washington in which her alleged attacker, an older man, reportedly became enraged after discovering that she was trans. This bill prohibits so-called “panic defense” in criminal trials in which a defendant claims to have suffered from diminished capacity or be justified based on “the discovery of, knowledge about, or potential disclosure of the victim’s actual or perceived gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation.” [Coordinatrix] Emi [Koyama] doesn’t know why she didn’t notice this bill when it was introduced last year, but this is highly relevant to trans sex workers and is a priority for 2020. It was passed out of the House Public Safety Committee during 2019 and needs further push.

HB 1775 / SB 5744 (Commercially sexually exploited children) is so-called safe harbor legislation for Washington State. The good part is that it completely decriminalizes prostitution for youth by defining the crime of prostitution to require that the actor be 18 or older. The bad part is that it has baggage, such as the new tool for the law enforcement to detain youth suspected of engaging in sex trade. Retired King County Superior Court Judge Barbara Mack, who is recognized as a leader in the anti-trafficking movement, pushed for an amendment to delay the decriminalization portion until after sufficient services for youth have been established, but it was not adapted after Emi was joined by former U.S. Rep. Linda Smith in opposing the amendment. We want a simpler bill decriminalizing prostitution for youth, but that is unlikely to happen, with the law enforcement wanting to retain power to detain youth and confiscate/search their phones.

HB 1971 / SB 5164 (public assistance to victims of human trafficking) would provide some State assistance to immigrant victims of human trafficking. I think Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence was pushing this before.

HB 1551 / SB 5562 (modernizing the control of certain communicable diseases) needs to be monitored. This is an extremely complex bill made up of lots of changes, both good and potentially bad. What’s good for us is that it would remove mandatory HIV testing for people convicted of prostitution. What’s potentially bad include expansion of the law to expand control to infections other than HIV and unclear impact of the modifications to laws criminalizing transmission of STDs under some conditions. We are not actively working on this, but we will keep an eye on it.

Thanks, Emi, for your tireless work. The next Coalition meeting is Friday, February 7 @10:30a at the Capitol Hill Library.

Emi also writes:

Aileen’s peer leadership program currently has ten women who sign up for work and receive case management and support services so they can fulfill that role and build skills and experiences for the future. [Current coordinator] Leslie wants to leave her position in two years as peers take more and more responsibilities.

Current peer leadership positions include hospitality space, which is now peer-run, Heart Van harm reduction outreach program, and System Failure Alert! outreach. Peers are getting closer together and are sticking up for each other in and out of Aileen’s. Many more are on a waiting list.

Hospitality space is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays 5pm-10pm. There is a separate peer leader/staff meeting each week in addition to the work shift.

[Their b]iggest need is housing. Currently working with a supporter to provide shared housing for the peer leaders. Aileen’s is creating a new model. Needs more money for operating cost! Visit http://patreon.com/aileens

WOW! Great work, folks!

For readers who don’t know, Aileens’s is a peer led outreach point of service for street based sex workers working in the south end of Seattle. They provide a rest stop, hot food, and most importantly a non judgmental place to relax. No clients, no management, just people taking a break.

 

We’ve heard from The Network of Sex Worker Projects (NSWP) that they are seeking to appoint four Global Consultants in 2020, to lead the development of their advocacy tools. Though they’re based overseas, this group works all over the globe so we’re all eligible to apply. From their email:

We will be producing the following policy documents:

  • Briefing Paper – Economic Empowerment

(What is/is not economic empowerment for sex workers, what country work is going on currently?)

  • Briefing Paper – Universal Health Coverage

(What is UHC, what are the implications for sex workers, how are sex workers influencing, or being excluded from, the UHC agenda?)

  • Smart Sex Worker’s Guide – Labour & Decent Work

(Sex work as work, and how sex work fits within the ILO Decent Work agenda)

  • Smart Sex Worker’s Guide –Decriminalisation / the New Zealand Model

(How decriminalisation improves sex workers’ lives and protects their rights, how have sex workers used the NZ model in their advocacy?)

For full information and details of how to apply please see our website at https://www.nswp.org/work-with-us/global-consultants-required

Deadline for applications: Sunday 2nd February 2020 by 23.59 hours GMT.

And for people who just want to expand their skill sets, The Migrant Sex Workers Legal Training group is putting on a webinar called Legal Training: A Pathway to End Violence Against Migrant Sex Workers

Date : January, 31, 2020 (Friday) 

Time : 12:00-1:15pm 

Registration: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/pathway-to-end-violence-against-migrant-sex-workers-webinar-tickets-88506610655 

Are you working with people who have experienced violence, discrimination or other human rights abuses, sex workers, migrants, people with precarious immigration status, or other marginalized communities? Do you want to understand the sources of violence that migrant sex workers face and the barriers that prevent them from accessing supports and services? Do you want to learn both legal and non-legal practical ways to support migrant sex workers who face violence or other abuses?Did you miss our training workshop in October 2019?This training offers practical information and skills for service providers working across all sectors who want to build their capacity to offer relevant and adequate support and services to migrant sex workers who have or may experience violence, discrimination or other forms of abuse. The training will build on the Guide for service providers and Full series of legal information developed for the 2017 project Upholding and promoting human rights, justice and access for migrant sex workers: resources for service providers.  

Trainers : 

Tara Santini is a Montreal-based lawyer, consultant, educator and legal trainer.        

Elene Lam (LLM, LLB, MSW, BSW) is the Executive director of Butterfly (Asian and Migrant Sex Workers Support Network). 

If you have any questions and to RSVP, please contact Elene Lam at 416-906-3098 or cswbutterfly@gmail.com

 

The Migrant Sex Workers  Legal Training project is a partnership of The Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto Chapter (CCNCTO), Butterfly (Asian Migrant Sex Workers Support Network), and the Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic 

Funded by Law Foundation of Ontario 

 

And if you’re a webinar junkie:

Election Season: Tips for Advocates with Tim Mooney of Alliance 4 Justice

Election years provide a great opportunity for public charities to highlight issues and interact with candidates and the voting public. However, public charities cannot support or oppose candidates, and must avoid the appearance or reality of electioneering and other partisan activity, particularly in public and social media communications. This webinar will highlight some common pitfalls and provide suggestions and tips for avoiding them.

Participants will learn:

  • How you can continue to advocate for your issues during election years;
  • How you can educate the public through candidate forums and questionnaires;
  • How you can respond to candidate statements;
  • How you can conduct nonpartisan voter registration and ensure get-out-the-vote efforts are conducted legally;
  • How you can safely support or oppose ballot measures without being partisan; and
  • How staff and volunteers’ partisan activities in their personal time can be kept separate from their activities on behalf of the organization.

Tim Mooney is senior counsel with the Bolder Advocacy Program at Alliance for Justice, where he provides technical assistance for nonprofit advocates and teaches nonprofit and election law workshops. Tim has previously worked as co-founder of Columbia Riverkeeper, as senior counsel at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics and as general counsel and director of operations for Tranquil Space yoga studios. 

Though this webinar has passed, we have access to the recordings that you can listen to at your convenience. Just let us know!

 

This post is updated throughout the month as we learn of new and exciting event opportunities. The next Allies Update and Call to Action will publish February 10.

Thanks for your help and support! We love our allies and we love our volunteers!