Ask most people about government and they tend to talk about their federal representatives, the White House, or maybe the Mayor. But state and city governments may have the most significant impacts on our daily lives, particularly in the realm of criminal justice. In the Red Umbrella Project advocacy training, which we have been offering since 2010, participants learn from people who have done sex work and activism, as well as a veteran staffer of the New York state legislature.
Topics addressed in our day-long training include:
- how bills become law at both New York City and State levels
- how to monitor bills as they make their way through the (often lengthy) process
- how to talk to your elected representatives about your concerns (with a practice/role play of a meeting with a legislator).
- how to develop talking points and practice the skills we need to be effective advocates. We cover tactics for legislative meetings, lobbying, and giving testimony.
- the impact of the current NYPD practice of profiling people as prostitutes by using condoms as evidence of prostitution offenses, and the work being done to pass a bill that would prevent condoms from being used as evidence in New York State.
Pictured above: New York City Council Member Daniel Dromm with the participants and workshop facilitators of our February 2012 training for members of Streetwise and Safe and the Hetrick Martin Institute.