There’s no better time to reach out to your representatives and let them know the needs of sex workers they represent. Below is a step-by-step guide for sex workers and allies who are looking to talk about EARN IT, but this is just the first step in building that relationship.
Before the 2018 Sex Worker Lobby day, Survivors Against SESTA put together a video webinar on lobbying meetings with staffers. If you’d like to watch that, you can view it here.
Step 1: Prep
You can find out what your Rep or Senator cares about on their website, and by how much they champion different issues. Sex workers’ rights falls into a lot of different issue areas, and can be described in a lot of different ways.
For example: Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) has introduced multiple bills on anti-policing, and talks about it frequently. If you’re meeting with her (amazing) office, talk about how sex workers’ rights as an issue of anti-policing.
Read the EARN IT Act (S.3398) here
Read the Section-By-Section here
Read the Two-pager on EARN IT here
How would this specifically impact you? How did FOSTA/SESTA impact you and your folks? Reps want to know how this kind of thing is going to affect people they represent, and each district and state has unique dynamics. That’s info that only *you* can give.
Find your team! We recommend no more than four people in a meeting to keep it manageable.
Practice until you feel comfortable bouncing off of each other, and each person knows what they’re going to be saying.
Each person brings a different background and knowledge – diversify your perspectives.
Step 2: Set Up Your Meeting
Call the main office of your Rep/Senator – it’s faster. Find Contact Info here. Ask for the contact info for the staffer who has the relevant “portfolio” (subject area – most likely it’ll be the person who covers tech) and email them directly for a meeting or ask for the scheduler, which is the fastest way to get on the calendar.
When you confirm your meeting with the staffer 1-2 days in advance, send the two-pager so they already have it and can prepare themselves.
Step 3: Practice
Sit with the people who will be in the meeting and practice with one person playing the staffer. Critique each other, ask hard questions, learn each others’ styles of presentation.
Step 4: Post-Game
Email a thank you for their time! Build that relationship like you would with a client.
Reiterate the ask (NO ON EARN IT)
Include any materials, reports, information they requested during the meeting.
Re-send the one pager.
Let us know how your meeting went in this Google form! We can help follow up with the office, talk, share information about it on social media, and make sure to update you on what’s going on to #SurviveEARNIT.