SEX WORKERS need YOU to take action by calling your Representative TODAY and demanding a NO vote on FOSTA! Why? Because #FOSTAHurtsSurvival!
FOSTA, House Bill 1865, will turn the harm reduction tools like bad date lists, online community support, and opportunities for screening for violence into a Federal crime, punishable up to 10 to 25 years. FOSTA will not stop trafficking, it will only push the sex trade into further isolation, making it even more difficult to fight violence and exploitation. If you believe in the survival of sex workers and trafficking victims, urge your Representative to vote NO on House Bill 1865, going to the floor for a vote as soon as Tuesday, February 27.
1. Who is your rep? Find out here: https://callyourrep.co/
– Why am I calling? Because other than showing up in person (go do that, too!) it’s more effective than emails. They write down every call that comes in and hearing from constituents that an issue is important really does make a difference.
– Can they arrest me if I tell them I’m a sex worker? The chances of anything like that are beyond minuscule. “Sex work” isn’t illegal, you’re not giving them enough information to do anything, you can use whatever name you like, and that would be absolutely shocking and the worst PR move your Rep could ever make. They’ve also just heard from DREAMERs, so you’re not even the first this year to call in and talk about a criminalized existence.
2. What if my rep is a co-sponsor of the bill? All but one of the co-sponsors signed onto this bill before the most harmful language was added. There’s a really good chance they don’t know – AND NEED YOU TO TELL THEM. Find out who they are by looking that info up here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/
3. What do I say when I call?
“Hi, my name is ____________ and i live in ___________ (city in district). I’m calling to urge Congressperson ____________ to vote NO on FOSTA, House bill 1865.
I am a [loved one of a/parent of a/service provider to/an ally of] sex worker[s] and this bill would compromise the safety and lives of people who trade sex, including trafficking victims. I am calling to ask you not to put [me/my community/my loved one/my child] in danger of violence and victimization. Please vote no on this terribly misguided bill, which is expected to be voted on Tuesday, February 27. Thank you for your time!”
4. What else are you doing? We and allied organizations are going to be connecting with staffers from the offices who have signed on and where we have already have relationships. But those conversations are so much more impactful when they know that this will impact their constituents’ lives.
5. How do you pronounce it? Remember that Foster’s beer commercial with the Australian accent? Fost-ah? Like that.