Statement: Continuing the Conversation with City Council Speaker
Decrim NY is a coalition of 30+ organizations working to decriminalize, decarcerate and destigmatize the sex trades. We are led by a steering committee of individuals with lived experiences in the sex trades on the full spectrum of choice, circumstance and coercion. We do this work to uplift and free our communities from police violence and economic exploitation.
Yesterday Decrim NY released a statement in response to City Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s remarks on the sex trades. The leadership of the Speaker on many issues — including ending the overdose crisis, harm reduction, HIV/AIDS-prevention, homelessness, and criminal justice reform — has helped make New York City a more equitable place. We want to reiterate that we appreciate his support for repealing the criminalization of loitering for the purposes of prostitution (S2253 Hoylman/A654 Paulin) and his commitment to funding a center that provides non-stigmatizing, voluntary, trauma-informed services to people in the sex trades, including sex workers and trafficking survivors.
While we are far from where we need to be, our movement for the rights and safety of people in the sex trades has made critical progress. We also know that progress is only possible through open dialogue, listening, and compassion. While we disagree with the Speaker’s support for the Nordic Model, we are fully committed to having an ongoing discussion with him about our positions and differences. For too long, discussion of this issue has been pushed underground, and we know that as we break the public conversation open, it is a learning process for all of us on how best to engage. We look forward to continued discussion with Speaker Johnson and all New Yorkers on the best practices for preventing the harms of criminalization and respecting the rights and dignity of people who trade sex under all circumstances.
Association of Legal Aid Attorneys
Make the Road New York
The New York City Anti-Violence Project
The Sex Workers Project at The Urban Justice Center