Sex Work and Trafficking Policy Impact Committee - October 2, 2018 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
October 2, 2018 - 11:00am

No agenda was available for this meeting. 

Sex Work and Trafficking Policy Impact Committee Meeting Minutes

October 2, 2018                   11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Department on the Status of Women

25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 330a, San Francisco, CA



Jen Callewaert, SF DPH

Saerom Choi, APILO

Patricia Erwin, SF DPH

Mira Fey, US Pros/UC Berkeley

Minouche Kandel, SF DOSW

Carol Leigh, SF DPH

Pike Long, St James Infirmary

alix lutnick, RTI

Kyoko Peterson, SF DOSW

Dongmei Tan, SF DPH

Leah Shoecraft, St James Infirmary

Iris Zhu, SF DPH


I.Introductions/Check-in [Saerom Choi]


II.Identifying Committee Co-Chairs [Saerom Choi]

  1. Saerom Choi is currently the Co-Chair of the Committee and is still looking for another Co-Chair.


III.Use of Language/ Report back from IANGEL training on Vacatur [Carol Leigh]

  1. Carol Leigh was at a training for attorneys on expungement, and she had some thoughts on the language and framework that they used. She feels that the repetition of the concepts of “sex trafficking” and “labor trafficking” does not make sense because sex work could be a form of labor. She had concerns about the presentation being trauma informed and aware of class. The presentation also focused on accountability in terms of imprisonment and the criminal justice system. She says that these systems target people of color, immigrants. Interested in statistics in who gets charged with trafficking.
  2. There was discussion of vacatur and expungement and the differences between the two. Vacating results in a complete elimination of the criminal record, while with expungements certain people can still see convictions, like professional licensing agencies. Also mention that when APILO tried to refer cases to the Public Defender, they did not respond.


IV.Prioritizing Safety for Sex Workers Policy

  1. There was a work group on the video, but it fell to the wayside. Now this committee can try to put together another work group. There is a script but it is not a detailed script, so need more people to work on it.  Saerom says she might be able to get people to flesh out the script, so she’ll follow up on that.  There is also a possibility that St James Infirmary will get funding to do policy work, and that funding might go towards helping with the video.
  2. Participants discussed reports from the community about the safety policy. There have not been that many reports, so people are not sure if the general community knows about this policy.

i.Stephanie Richards from CAST-LA wants to try to get a similar policy passed in Los Angeles, but getting push back from the district attorney’s office. She wants to try to have the SF DA to talk to LA DA.  

  1. Participants also discussed outreach to street based sex workers. St James reports that the number of people they have been able to outreach to has declined significantly, because there are many fewer people visible on the street. They used to have hundreds of contacts with workers per month, now only a few. Believe that this is because of increased SFPD enforcement and that workers are now in Oakland.
  2. There was also a discussion of outreach to massage workers. Possibly need to change the cards, because some workers will be offended if there is an assumption that they are sex workers. Dongmei from SFDPH said she can do some edits to the cards. There was also discussion of whether there could be a bad date list for massage workers. However, the workers often do not get to choose their clients, so would also need to incentivize massage business owners to use bad date list. Update from Massage Inspection program: the police have not done raids recently. The last ones were in the winter.  


V.Freedom Network Call for Proposals [Saerom Choi]

The Freedom Network sent out a call for proposals for their conference. They have been supportive of sex workers in their work. APILO can be organizer of proposal-- Could focus on collaboration of this committee, or the safety for sex workers policy. The deadline is in one week.


VI.FOSTA Position Paper

  1. Participants discussed what happened with the vote at the last general meeting. Feeling that some would never support the position paper, and some were confused about what is being asked. The voting procedure was confusing, and this is a learning process for all.
  2.  Minouche Kandel gave an update that there would be a vote again at the next general meeting. She reached out to members for specific comments, but not very many people gave comments.
  3. Jen Callewaert from the Massage Program said that she had concerns about anonymous voting and people feeling pressured. From the perspective of the Massage Program, she said that the position paper might conflict with current Health Code as well as proposed amendments.
  4. There was a discussion of voting procedures. Possibility of following up with Executive Committee about voting procedure and getting feedback from them.
  5. Participants discussed what the outcome would be if the position paper passed, since that was a concern for many people at the general meeting. Creating a work group was discussed. The possibility of being against parts of FOSTA instead of all of FOSTA was also discussed. Participants felt that people were hung up on the idea of voting against the law, when the position paper is more about being against the harm that is happening.


VII.Announcements/Agenda for next meeting

  1. Action Items: People who want to work on language guide – Carol, alix, Saerom, Pike

Next meeting is December 10, 2018, from 11:00 am – 12:30 at DOSW