• Long-Time Sex Workers’ Rights Activist Discusses Violence And Endurance

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    Published May 23, 2016 at 4:02 pm - No Comments My first experience with police violence happened when I was 19 years old. I was walking with someone I had just met in my new neighborhood, Sam. On t ...

    Long-Time Sex Workers’ Rights Activist Discusses Violence And Endurance
  • D.C. Public School Budget 2017

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    Published May 12, 2016 at 6:30 pm - No Comments The April issue of the Citizen Reader highlights the DCPS fiscal year 2017 proposed budget and financial plan. . . . → ...

    D.C. Public School Budget 2017
  • No Shortage of Ideas for Better, More Affordable Child Care

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    Published May 9, 2016 at 10:51 am - No Comments The cost of un-subsidized child care is extraordinarily high, raising sometimes insurmountable barriers to low-income parents who want to work. The co ...

    No Shortage of Ideas for Better, More Affordable Child Care
  • Survival’s Price

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    Published May 2, 2016 at 6:18 pm - No Comments “...Afro-Americans have never had any kind of a chance to recover from the traumatic wounds of slavery…” Michele Wallace, The Culture War withi ...

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  • Questions for D.C.’s Deputy Mayor for Education

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    Published April 29, 2016 at 2:30 pm - No Comments Every year, as part of the Council’s oversight responsibilities, the various committees send out a list of questions to each of the agencies within ...

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  • Changing the Rules on Graduation Requirements

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    Published March 31, 2016 at 2:51 pm - No Comments DC "State" Board of Education has proposed changing the rules for District of Columbia Graduates. Rather than taking all the courses required to get t ...

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  • Taking Black History Seriously

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    Published February 27, 2016 at 1:34 pm - No Comments If Black history were taken seriously, the myth of Black inferiority, a foundational pillar of white supremacy, would be incapable of justifying itsel ...

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  • From Civil Rights to Human Rights, Black Community Control Now!

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    Published February 6, 2016 at 7:45 pm - No Comments A United Nations Working Group preliminary report on human rights violations against Black America advocates Black community control of police. From Civil Rights to Human Rights, Black Community Control Now!

  • Placing DC’s Crime Wave in Context

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    Published January 19, 2016 at 6:41 am - 2 Comments This past summer, much media attention was given to what has been called a “surge” of violent crime in DC. Resident reactions to the violent crime ...

    Placing DC’s Crime Wave in Context
  • DC Council Votes to Lower the Legal Standard for new Family Shelters: “What’s wrong with us?”

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    Published November 11, 2015 at 2:18 pm - 5 Comments Cross-Posted from the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless Written by Patricia Mullahy Fugere Last week, the DC Council voted 9-4 against requirin ...

    DC Council Votes to Lower the Legal Standard for new Family Shelters: “What’s wrong with us?”
  • Supporting the Movement for Black Lives

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Long-Time Sex Workers’ Rights Activist Discusses Violence And Endurance

Cross-posted from Tits and Sass
written by Bonnie D.

Content warning: This interview contains graphic descriptions of police violence and rape, imprisonment, and domestic abuse.

abonnie1Bonnie is a veteran sex workers’ rights activist who has done outreach work in the D.C. area since 2001. She was a HIPS (Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive) client who lived on the streets in Maryland. Later, she was inspired by the work of Robyn Few and others to participate in activism and community organizing through SWOP-Maryland. Last year, she recorded sound for No Humans Involved, a documentary film produced by PJ Starr about Marcia Powell, the street sex worker killed by the negligence and cruelty of the Arizona prison system in 2009. Currently, she’s on a community advisory board with John Hopkins researchers for the SAPPHIRE (Sex Workers And Police Promoting Health In Risky Environments) study, which examines the role of police in HIV risks faced by Baltimore cis and trans sex working women.

You’ve been doing outreach since 2001, originally to D.C. and Prince George’s County Maryland, and later to Northern Virginia and Baltimore as well, using HIPS supplies and sometimes your own money. Where does your dedication come from?

I enjoy it and have to do it and will never stop doing it. That’s because I have memories where the ends of bread, dry socks, housing, a place to get high [where they would] not send me to jail, or a place to avoid drugs (depending on my mood), were my biggest dreams.

I have 8 years where I can proudly say the drug I am allergic to has no power over me. 

Up until very recently I provided housing. I had to stop, and now I provide referrals and transportation to shelters or transitional living or an affordable place to live, whatever is asked of me.  My current venues are methadone clinics, BDSM clubs, immigrant sex work apartments, drug testing clinics, and sex or BDSM party houses. I never leave someone who wants to be inside outside. What if it was the last time I saw that person? What if they were arrested for being homeless i.e. trespassing or loitering; really any charge. A Prince George’s County cop told me and I will never forget: it does not matter what I/we do, it only matters what he/they write on their papers.

Privileged, housed people may not understand that, and it is something I cannot explain. There are two separate worlds, where the language barrier is experience.

Continue reading Long-Time Sex Workers’ Rights Activist Discusses Violence And Endurance

D.C. Public School Budget 2017

budget_graphics_web-01

The April issue of the Citizen Reader highlights the DCPS fiscal year 2017 proposed budget and financial plan. . . . → Read More: D.C. Public School Budget 2017

No Shortage of Ideas for Better, More Affordable Child Care

DCCHILDCARE

The cost of un-subsidized child care is extraordinarily high, raising sometimes insurmountable barriers to low-income parents who want to work. The community-based child care centers that many low-income families rely on are reimbursed at ridiculously low rates. But there are answers. We need only the will to implement and pay for them. . . . → Read More: No Shortage of Ideas for Better, More Affordable Child Care

Survival’s Price

Q066A1-MOM-KIDS-COUCH

“…Afro-Americans have never had any kind of a chance to recover from the traumatic wounds of slavery…” Michele Wallace, The Culture War within the Culture Wars . . . → Read More: Survival’s Price

Questions for D.C.’s Deputy Mayor for Education

DCPS Drinking Water

Every year, as part of the Council’s oversight responsibilities, the various committees send out a list of questions to each of the agencies within their purview. The Citizen Reader gives some attention to a few of the Committee on Education’s oversight questions to the office of the Deputy Mayor for Education. . . . → Read More: Questions for D.C.’s Deputy Mayor for Education