Tell your legislators to stop criminalizing New Yorkers for #WalkingWhileTrans
Last year, there was a 188% increase in loitering arrests – the sharpest increase since 2012. A harmful law that criminalizes "loitering for the purposes of prostitution" (Penal Law 240.37) allows police to profile, harass, and arrest trans communities and Black and POC femmes for wearing a skirt, “waving at a car,” and “standing somewhere other than a bus stop or taxi stand” AKA existing in public spaces.
Police targeting undocumented women and TGNC people under this statute are exposing them to deportation and ICE involvement. The Sylvia Rivera Law Project tells the story of their client Paz*, a trans woman who was jailed in a male facility and eventually faced deportation proceedings after getting arrested for #WalkingWhileTrans.
Decrim NY needs your help repealing this harmful law! Make two calls to your representatives’ today!
Make sure to call your representative’s Albany office (rather than their district office) because legislators are in session in Albany today! Here's your call script:
To your Senator: Hello, my name is ——— and I’m a constituent. I’m calling today to ask you to co-sponsor S2253. I am a sex worker/former sex worker/survivor/LGBTQ community member/ally to these communities and the charge of loitering for the purposes of prostitution is a discriminatory law that targets trans and cis women, gender non-conforming people, and especially people of color. Police should not be able to profile, harass, and arrest people for wearing a skirt or standing outside. Please co-sponsor S2253 to repeal the law that criminalizes #WalkingWhileTrans!
To your Assemblymember: Hello, my name is ——— and I’m a constituent. I’m calling today to ask you to help move A0654 to the floor for a vote. I am a sex worker/former sex worker/survivor/LGBTQ community member/ally to these communities and the charge of loitering for the purposes of prostitution is a discriminatory law that targets trans and cis women, gender non-conforming people, and especially people of color. People should not be afraid of police harassment and arrest because they’re wearing a skirt or standing outside. If they are a co-sponsor (see co-sponsors below), thank them. If they aren’t yet a co-sponsor, ask them to co-sponsor A0654 to repeal the law that criminalizes #WalkingWhileTrans!
Seawright, Dickens, Dinowitz, D'Urso, Galef, Gottfried, Jaffee, Joyner, Pichardo, Rosenthal L, Simon, Steck, Niou, Hevesi, Quart, Cruz, Simotas, Malliotakis, De la Rosa, DenDekker
Background: New York State has two houses in its legislature, the Senate and the Assembly. A bill needs to go through committee in both houses, get co-sponsors to support it, and be calendared for a floor vote in order to pass. For many years the Assembly has been the more progressive house—bills often pass there and then don’t go anywhere in the Senate. That changed with the 2018 election and now we have a Democratic-led Senate, and our first real opportunity in many years to get progressive legislation passed.
We have been meeting with legislators to rally support for S2253/A0654. In May, we’re going to Albany for a mass lobby day to keep the pressure up on legislators to pass this bill. If you are directly impacted by the criminalization of the sex trades (you are a trafficking survivor, current or former sex worker, or profiled as such), get trained to lobby on Thursday, April 18 @ 6 pm. RSVP here! Let’s repeal the law that criminalizes #WalkingWhileTrans this year!