Calling all Bay Area sex workers & allies!

Oakland City Council is proposing legislation that further criminalizes sex work and puts Oakland workers in danger. Council Member Abel Guillén is introducing a policy that would attempt to cut down on "demand" for purchasing sex by allowing police to tow the cars of men who are suspected clients of sex workers to the Public Safety Committee. This approach is misguided. Let city council know that this is not how we keep our Oakland residents safer.

  1. EMAIL YOUR OAKLAND CITY COUNCIL Rep to oppose this legislation. Find y0ur COucil Rep Here.

    Sample letter below

  2. SHOW UP TO SUPPORT SEX WORKERS At the oakland City council MEETING: POSTPONED AGAIN !!!, TBA (was Tues 9/25)

    Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank H Ogawa Plaza, 2nd Floor, Oakland, CA 94612

  3. Sign Up to speak at the meeting Here.

    POC, trans, outdoor sex workers, folks who live near international blvd to the front. We are also explicitly asking for allies who are public health professionals, health care providers, harm reductionists, emergency responders, social workers, policy makers, community organizers, etc to speak at the hearing. We need your support.

    Since the meeting is now postponed, if you are able to speak please email so we can start organizing speakers.

  4. ShARE this call to action on your social media accounts & email lists:

    Tell all your boos & neighbors about sex worker justice. Rinse & repeat.

  5. Are you a Part of a BAY AREA Public health, POLICY, or social justice organization?

    Please email to co-sign the letter BAWS is drafting to Oakland City Council, asking them to:

    • Stop criminalizing & arresting sex workers, including ‘End Demand’.

    • Help us distance police from interacting with sex workers.

    • Work WITH us. We have a coalition of knowledgable sex workers, survivors, and public health professionals ready to share information and help you create policy that actually keeps Bay Area residents safer. Brings us to the table when creating policy about the sex trade.


Sample Letter to your Council Rep (please feel free to copy & paste):

Dear __________________,

I am writing to express my concern about Abel Guillén's proposed legislation that would attempt to cut down on "demand" for purchasing sex by allowing police to tow the cars of men who are suspected clients of sex workers.

As someone who cares about the health and safety of our Oakland residents, I am concerned that this legislation will endanger sex workers by pushing their industry further underground in the attempt to evade criminalization. Previous laws criminalizing clients, introduced in the name of “ending demand,” have proven to fail to ever deter prostitution, and create a hostile environment for sex workers all over the world.

As you are probably aware, SESTA-FOSTA has forced many sex workers onto the streets since it is now harder for them to find clients online. Further criminalizing sex work will not reduce demand for the service and will not protect children from child trafficking. What it will do is make sex work a more dangerous and difficult job than it already is. Criminalizing suspected clients will also subject more men of color to racial profiling and make it harder for sex workers to earn a living, which is often vital to them supporting themselves and their families.

The best way to have fewer sex workers working on the streets is to make it safer to do sex work in other venues (like indoors and online) and to address the root causes of street-based survival sex work: poverty, job insecurity, racial economic inequality, unstable housing, and discrimination against women and trans people.

The global public health community (including the World Health Organization, the United Nations, and Amnesty International) has reached a consensus that decriminalizing sex work is the best way to protect sex workers from violence and STIs. Council member Guillen's legislation would be a step backward for Oakland in terms of community safety, social justice, and public health.

(Feel free to add something about yourself and why you oppose this legislation)


(Your name, district, & title if applicable)


Current members of the Oakland City Council:

·     Council District 1 - Dan Kalb || || @DanKalb

·     Council District 2 - Abel Guillen || || @Abel_Guillen

·     Council District 3 - Lynette Gibson McElhaney (Council President) || || @LynetteGM

·     Council District 4 - Annie Campbell Washington || || @annieforoakland

·     Council District 5 - Noel Gallo ||

·     Council District 6 - Desley Brooks || || @desleyb

·     Council District 7 - Larry Reid ||

·     At Large - Rebecca Kaplan || || @Kaplan4Oakland