Tell Albany: 1. Walking While Trans isn't a crime. 2. Carrying a Condom isn't a crime. 3. Being a victim of human trafficking isn't a crime.

Yesterday:

BREAKING: our member spent a long day in Albany today talking to legislators about the #WalkingWhileTrans ban. On her way home tonight, she was harassed by NYPD’s Vice Squad for #WalkingWhileTrans. Same day, same issue. Video shows the undercover Vice cars after the incident pic.twitter.com/0MGHy4Y1Q1

— VOCAL-NY (@VOCALNewYork) June 13, 2019

At end of the video, you can hear the vice officer shout at her. Not captured in video: officers trying to entrap her into a “loitering for the purposes of prostitution” aka #WalkingWhileTrans charge, waiving her down to vehicle & repeatedly yelling sexually suggestive remarks

— VOCAL-NY (@VOCALNewYork) June 13, 2019

What was she wearing? Literally a VOCAL t-shirt. This is why we MUST pass @bradhoylman @AmyPaulin bill (S2253/A654) to repeal the #WalkingWhileTrans ban NOW! The existence of the ban encourages profiling & targeted state violence toward TGNC communities of color pic.twitter.com/2SNjz4OrX6

— VOCAL-NY (@VOCALNewYork) June 13, 2019

What this organizer and advocate experienced is all to common for trans women, especially trans women of color. That's why laws are needed to make meaningful change to the NY criminal legal system and help reduce the harm caused by our existing s.  There are bills in Albany that can do just that, and you can help!

With little time remaining in the session, let's make a push on these key bills:

  • Bills A00654/S02253 (Paulin/Hoylman) would repeal New York’s loitering for the purposes of prostitution law has been abused to the point, as seen above, where it is dangerous to be #WalkingWhileTrans.  In 2018, there were 152 #WalkingWhileTrans arrests: 49% Black, 42% Hispanic, & 7% white. These discriminatory arrests must stop now! 

  • Bills A5177/S728 (Walker/Montgomery)  eliminate possession of a single condom being used by law enforcement as a probable cause for arrest on the grounds of suspected prostitution. Safe sex shouldn't lead to a sentence!

  • Bills A06983/S04981(Gottfried/Ramos, Salazar) would expand the relief available to survivors of human trafficking who have criminal records for crimes their traffickers have compelled them to commit. Currently, New York State law only allows trafficking survivors to clear prostitution-related convictions from their records, although many are convicted of other types of offenses during the course of their trafficking. 

Three simple things you can do to help:

1.  Call your Assembly Member and Senator: 
Find their phone number here:  
 - Assembly  https://nyassembly.gov/mem/
 - Senate  https://www.nysenate.gov/senators-committees
(Not sure who represent you, find them here:  https://nyassembly.gov/mem/search/ or https://www.nysenate.gov/find-my-senator)  
Voice your support and tell them:  "Current law unfairly targets LGBTQ people, especially trans women of color and victims of human trafficking. The following bills deserve a floor vote and your support:  A00654/S02253, A06983/S04981, and A5177/S728 "

2.  Call
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie:  518-455-3791

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins:  518-455-3791
The Speaker and Majority Leader determine what bills come to the floor.  Share the same script as above!

3.  Bring it to social media!
Sample tweet:  ".@NYSA_Majority & @NYSenDems  Current law unfairly targets LGBTQ people, especially trans women of color and victims of human trafficking. . The following bills deserve a floor vote and your support:  A00654/S02253, A06983/S04981, and A5177/S728 ."
Or retweet the below:
 

.@NYSA_Majority & @NYSenDems
There are current laws in New York that unfairly target LGBTQ people, especially trans women of color and victims of human trafficking.
The following bills deserve a floor vote and your support: A00654/S02253, A06983/S04981, and A5177/S728 .

— Stonewall Democrats (@SDNYC) June 13, 2019


2019 has been a monumental year for progress in New York.  While the legislative session might be ending, our work for a fairer, safer New York never ends.  Thank you for your help!

Six Days Left for Albany to Act: Here's How You Can Help!

The LGBTQ pride flag was raised over New York's state Capitol for the first time ever, but with just six days left in this year’s legislative session, action is required to make the flag more than just a symbol.

Legislators need to move quickly to deliver on some key LGBTQ bills.  Here's how you can help:

With little time remaining in the session, let's make a push on these key bills that have passed the Senate, but, not the Assembly:

  • The Child-Parent Security Act (S.2071/A.1071C):  Deemed as unenforceable in New York State, many same-sex couples and couples with fertility challenges are currently forced to leave the state to have a child via compensating a gestational carrier (i.e. a person that carries a pregnancy but has no genetic link to the resulting child). This act lifts the current ban on surrogacy contracts and seeks to legalize gestational carrier arrangements.

  • Abolishing “Gay Panic” Defense (S.3293/A2707):  Oppressive attitudes and rash actions towards LGBTQI people should never be used as justification for violence. This bill limits the extreme emotional disturbance affirmative defense, otherwise known as the gay and/or trans panic defense, by removing the discovery, knowledge or disclosure of the victim's sexual orientation or gender identity as an affirmative defense in cases of second-degree murder.

  • LGBTQ Suicide Prevention Task Force (S.6315):  According to research done by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention in 2016, LGBTQ youth seriously contemplate suicide almost three times the rate of heterosexual youth.  The LGBTQ Youth and Young Adult Suicide Prevention Task Force would examine, evaluate, and determine how to improve mental health and suicide prevention for New York's LGBTQ youth and young adults up to the age of 24. 

  • NYS Restoration of Honor Act (S.45-B/A8097):  At least 53 state benefits are directly contingent upon a veteran’s discharge status, potentially disqualifying veterans from accessing these resources if they were discharged due to sexual orientation or gender identity. The Restoration of Honor Act would make veterans who were discharged due to their sexual orientation or gender identity eligible for programs, services, and benefits available at the state level.

  • Gender Identity Data (S.6321/A7929):  While LGBTQI people in this state share geographical and cultural commonalities, they also experience diverse social, educational, health, and economic differences that are unique to their life experiences. Given the diversity of the population, categorizing data for different identities within the population and making the data publicly accessible is critical for enhancing our state's understanding of the needs and experiences of LGBTQI people.


Three simple things you can do to help:

1.  Call your Assembly Representative. 
Find their phone number here:  https://nyassembly.gov/mem/
(Not sure who represent you, find them here:  https://nyassembly.gov/mem/search/)  
Voice your support and tell them:  "It's the fiftieth anniversary of Stonewall, and your LGBTQ constituents need to know you have their back.  Please support and bring to a vote the following bills:  A1071C, A2707, A8097, A7929, and the creation of a LGBTQ Suicide Prevention Task Force."
If you have a personal story of how any of these bills affects you personally, tell your story!

2.  Call Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie:  518-455-3791
The Speaker determines what bills come to the floor.  Share the same script as above!

3.  Bring it to social media!
Sample tweet:  ".@NYSA_Majority  It's the fiftieth anniversary of Stonewall, and your LGBTQ constituents need to know you have their back.  Please support and bring to a vote the following bills:  A1071C, A2707, A8097, A7929, and the creation of a LGBTQ Suicide Prevention Task Force."
Or retweet the below:

.@NYSA_Majority
It's the fiftieth anniversary of Stonewall, and your LGBTQ constituents need to know you have their back. Please support and bring to a vote the following bills: A1071C, A2707, A8097, A7929, and the creation of a LGBTQ Suicide Prevention Task Force.

— Stonewall Democrats (@SDNYC) June 12, 2019



2019 has been a monumental year for progress in New York.  While the legislative session might be winding down, we can keep the heat up and keep moving our state forward!

Today, Tonight, Tomorrow: Advocacy and Activism!

Brooklyn was a great time this past Saturday.  Thanks to those of you that tabled at the street fair, attended the pre-march gathering, and marched in Park Slope.

This week, let's turn our energy to advocacy and activism:

TODAY:
Join Andy Cohen, Advocates, and political leaders to rally in support of legislation to legalize gestational surrogacy in New York State and to ban the gay and trans panic defense.  
The Center
208 West 13th St. Room 101
12:15p (lunch time)
Rsvp to stonewalldemocratsnyc@gmail.com

TONIGHT:
Attend a rally hosted by the Anti-Violence Project and many other organizations calling for justice for Layleen Polanco Xtravaganza:

100 Centre St, New York, NY 10013
6pm - 7pm

From the organizers:

On Monday, community will come together to demand justice for Layleen Polanco Xtravaganza, an Afro-Latinx transgender woman, who was found dead in her cell at Rose M. Singer Center at Rikers last Friday evening.  NYC’s Department of Corrections established a trans housing unit to reduce violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people at Rikers. But “better” incarceration is still incarceration, and trans people are deeply unsafe in this system.  This tragic loss of yet another member of the trans community comes just days after the start of Pride season. There is no Pride to be had while trans folks continue to face an epidemic of fatal violence.  Enough is enough. We know that trans and gender nonconforming folks are not safe in the system. It's past time to close Rikers.  We demand a full investigation to into the death of Layleen Polanco Xtravanganza and transparency with community.

TOMORROW:
Albany Lobby Day in Albany is support of Surrogacy with the Protecting Modern Families Coalition
Details and RSVP:  https://www.modernfamiliescoalition.com/lobby-day

From the organizers:
Join us for a press conference in the Capitol with Andy and then to lobby our state legislators in support of ending New York’s ban on surrogacy and modernizing New York’s family formation laws across the board. It’s time to make New York a national leader in supporting modern families while protecting surrogates, intended parents and their children.

PRIDE Events this week and weekend!

Queens Pride was a BLAST!  We registered DOZENS of people to vote and had the crowd chanting along:  When we say PRIDE, you say VOTE!

There's much happening in the coming weeks.  Here's a few events we want to be sure catch your eye in the next few days:

TONIGHT:  Bronx Borough President & Allies Pride Celebration!
TIME:  6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
WHERE:  Billy's Sports Bar, 856 River Avenue, Bronx, NY 10451
RSVP: https://2019bxbpandallieslgbtpride.splashthat.com

Tonight join Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and other Bronx leaders to celebrate Pride and honor community leaders!  Special performances, great food, and a fun night!  Click above for details.
 

TONIGHT:  QCYD & LGDCQ Celebrate Pride!
TIME:  7 p.m. - ?
WHERE:  Club Evolution, 76-19 Roosevelt Avenue, Jackson Heights, NY  11372
RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/2290703527672432/

Join Queens County Young Democrats and the Lesbian & Gay Democratic Club of Queens for a Pride Happy Hour, honoring Queens community activist, Daniel Puerto, and, lookout: karaoke!

THURSDAY: FDNY LGBTQ Pride Celebration Block Party
TIME:  6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
WHERE:  Spring Street Between Hudson Street and Varick Street
RSVP: None necessary!
Celebrate with FDNY at a block party hosted by Tym Moss with live music, honorees, DJ and dancing, food and drinks, photo opportunities with FDNY Mascots Siren and Hot DogTonewall, the premiere pop a capella band, and special guest performer Peppermint of Broadway and RuPaul’s Drag Race.

FRIDAY:  First Fridays: Black LGBTQ World Pride Edition
TIME:  6 p.m. - 10 p.m.
WHERE:  Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/first-fridays-black-lgbtq-world-pride-edition-tickets-60205722938
Kick off LGBT Pride Month at the Schomburg Center with the fifth annual First Fridays: Gay Pride Edition and with recognition of our In the Life Archive, a collection of materials of and by black LGBT people throughout history preserved in the Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division.  Multiple deejays and signature drinks plus performance by Harmonica Sunbeam!

Can SDNYC register 500 voters during Pride?
We've gotten voter registration forms in the hands of about 100 people thus far, but we have more to go to meet our goal to register 500 voters during PRIDE!

BROOKLYN PRIDE with SDNYC & LID
DATE:  Saturday, June 8  
RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/346089322703443/

Pride is better with friends!  So we're teaming up with Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn this Saturday!

March and celebrate Brooklyn Pride with SDNYC & LID on June 8th!

11:30AM - 5PM: Visit our shared table at the Multi-Cultural Festival! Stay with us and help us send messages to elected officials, get folks to update their voter registration, and just chat politics!

5PM - 7PM: Join us at 200 Fifth Avenue Bar and Grill for a pre-march gathering with Brooklyn leaders and friends!  Cash bar and pre-parade sustenance!

7:30PM: WE MARCH! Look for the SDNYC and LID banners on 5th Avenue between Degraw and Douglass. It's a quick march, and we'll be working the crowd making sure everyone attending is registered to vote!  Afterwards, visit the many LGBTQ-friendly establishments in the neighborhood! It's a great festive evening and, with a few voter registration forms in your pocket, a pure opportunity!

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Coming soon:  the BronxHarlem, and World Pride.  Join us at one or all, and let's register 500 LGBTQ voters!  

PS:  March with us and receive the 2019 SDNYC tee.  We hope you'll be at an upcoming event to claim yours!