D.C.'s "Prostitution Free Zones," or PFZs, essentially legalize already rampant racial and gender profiling by police in our city. Making PFZs permanent would further criminalize transgender, gay, lesbian, homeless, low income, and people of color communities in the District. With the highest rate of HIV/AIDS in the country and surging violence against the people targeted by PFZs, the D.C. Council's priorities should be elsewhere -- ensuring the safety and health of diverse communities.
These policies have done little to eradicate prostitution but have succeeded in further marginalizing sex workers, low income people of color, transgender people, lesbians and gays, and the homeless. In addition, making the Prostitution Free Zones permanent would likely be unconstitutional.
We do not need more policy that criminalizes people in our community. D.C. residents demand that the Council find solutions to city issues that don't involve arresting and locking people up because they are homeless, transgender, or "look like" they are engaging in sex work.
Please make the right choice and vote against making the PFZ's permanent.