Washington Blade: Council member David Grosso seeks to decriminalize sex work in D.C.Council member David Grosso’s bill would repeal all current D.C. laws that call for criminal penalties for commercial sex work engaged in by consenting adults.

HIPS is Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive: http://hips.nationbuilder.com/ In Washington DC HIPS hosted a historic event at our Center for Health and Achievement.  Sex workers, allies, community members and more came together to celebrate the introduction of “The Reducing Criminalization to Improve Community Safety and Health Act of 2017“, which would repeal DC’s criminal penalties for consensual sexual exchange between adults, with the support of councilmember David Grosso and Robert White.

The bill was developed through years long collaboration between Grosso’s office, HIPS, and SWAC (Sex Work Advocacy Coalition).

This is bill looks at the underlying systemic issues facing the residents of the District and offers a new approach to improve the health and safety of our residents,” says Cyndee Clay, Executive Director of HIPS, “Street-based sex workers who are engaged in survival sex work often bear the brunt of criminalization. Arresting those who are most at-risk causes irreparable harm, rendering people jobless, homeless, or subject to deportation. Our response to poverty and lack of traditional employment must be based in supportive services and housing, not incarceration.”

We invite you to join us in supporting this new legislation and helping us pave the way to a more effective, compassionate and rights-based model and eliminating the laws that profile cis and trans women of color, undocumented people and our city’s most marginalized.

Check out the news coverage on the new bill in the DCist and Washington Blade. as well as HIPS own statement.

HIPS will need YOUR help in the coming months to help us build community support for this important legislation, that will literally save lives by giving our clients greater access to housing, social services, and help from law enforcement.

• Are you active in your local ANC meetings?

• Do you have a church or social group that would like to hear more about how eliminating criminal penalties for prostitution will be better for DC, sex workers and our residents?

• Would you like to donate time, materials or funds to help us spread the word?

Please keep an eye out for our call for volunteers on HIPS facebook or twitter page, or email Johanna@HIPS.org and let us know how you can help! In Solidarity,Cyndee Clay & HIPS