Advocates hope proposed DC bill will protect sex workers

WORKFORCE | DC Councilmember David Grosso recently introduced a bill to decriminalize sex work, citing how criminalization harms sex workers and creates unsafe working conditions. Advocates believe this bill would make it easier for sex workers to report assaults, which they often don’t feel safe doing, especially when police officers are involved. (WCP, 11/30)

Violence against sex workers is so ubiquitous as to have become chatter in the D.C. Council’s halls. Lawmakers have “heard for years about police engaging in discriminatory violence against sex workers,” Grosso says, though he notes meaningful conversations about how to prevent it have only recently begun. “Who do [sex workers] turn to?” he asks. “Often, in the past, if they turned to the police, they were not given the kind of support they needed.”

That understatement is at the heart of Grosso’s effort to attempt what no jurisdiction outside of Nevada has managed: remove criminal penalties for buying and selling sex. It is perhaps the city’s most robust and public effort in recent history to introduce legal safeguards for sex workers who say they’ve been assaulted by police officers.

POVERTY | Wells Fargo will commit $50 million to help address the economic, social, and environmental needs of American Indian/Alaska Native communities. (PND Blog, 11/30)

HEALTH | Prince George’s County will break ground on its new regional medical center today. (WaPo, 11/30)

EDUCATIONStudy: Virginia schools still face Great Recession funding barriers (Richmond-Times, 11/29)

TRANSIT | A coalition of labor advocates want the District to stop contracting out its public transit services to private firms. (WAMU, 11/30)

CHARITABLE GIVING | This year’s #GivingTuesday donations totaled an estimated $274 million, the largest amount in its history. (Chronicle, 11/29 – Subscription needed)

IMMIGRATION‘America Is in the Heart’: Smithsonian video spotlights U.S.’s immigrant history (NBC News, 11/30)

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