Mayor Bowser: Support alternatives to incarceration and fulfill your promises to the trans community

Mayor Bowser, Chief of Police Newsham, and Attorney General Racine

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Local Community Leaders and No Justice No Pride (NJNP), an ad-hoc collective of queer and trans organizers and activists from across the District of Columbia, are deeply concerned about the ongoing marginalization of transgender individuals, particularly transgender women of color, in the District of Columbia. In light of recent physical attacks on trans women of color and mistreatment by members of the Metropolitan Police Department we ask that you immediately commit to the following demands to support our communities:

  1. The City immediately reviews compliance of administrative and front line staff in all city District of Columbia government agencies with the District’s “Gender Identity or Expression” legal protections for transgender and gender nonconforming individuals, and ensure that all staff are adequately trained to adhere to these standards.

  2. The City ends its practice of incarcerating trans women of color, particularly young people. In place of this practice, the City will create a diversion program that provides services to trans people living on the margins, who by necessity are often forced to participate in underground economies. Further:

    1. The City deprioritize arrests for solicitation and other related offenses;

    2. The City expand access to Crime Victims Compensation Programs (CVCP) so that victims of a crime who engage in sex work can comfortably report the crime and seek legal remedy without facing charges related to their means of employment;

    3. The City fully decriminalize sex work by the year 2019.

  3. Mayor Bower fulfills her campaign promises to the District of Columbia’s queer and trans populations by:

    1. Addressing hate crimes that target queer and trans communities, particularly in cases where said crimes are committed by officers or other employees of the Metropolitan Police Department, who in committing such crimes break their oaths to protect and defend the citizens of the District of Columbia. In such cases, even while evidence is being collected, the perpetrator shall be immediately removed from duty and the Metropolitan Police Department shall cooperate fully and transparently with the victim’s communities in order to ensure due process during such investigations;

    2. Designing and implementing a cross-agency strategy whose purpose is to identify and reduce violence directed towards trans and queer persons, especially young people and community members of color;

    3. Providing a thorough and transparent report on what the Bowser Administration is doing to reduce the harassment of trans and queer youths in their schools, in their homes, and on the streets.

  4. The City forms a taskforce of queer and trans community leaders and experts of color to be consulted for their input and guidance as the city develops and sustains programs and policies that support these communities. Members of this community taskforce must not in any way be affiliated with the Government of the District of Columbia or the Metropolitan Police Department.

Sponsored by

To: Mayor Bowser, Chief of Police Newsham, and Attorney General Racine
From: [Your Name]

Mayor Bowser, Chief of Police Newsham, and Attorney General Racine
Office of the Mayor of the District of Columbia
1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20004

Mayor Bowser, Chief of Police Newsham, and Attorney General Racine,

Local Community Leaders and No Justice No Pride (NJNP), an ad-hoc collective of queer and trans organizers and activists from across the District of Columbia, are deeply concerned about the ongoing marginalization of transgender individuals, particularly transgender women of color, in the District of Columbia. In light of recent physical attacks on trans women of color by members of the Metropolitan Police Department, and recent rumors and reports of “jump-out” tactics once again being used by the Metropolitan Police Department to target transgender women of color, we ask that you immediately end this practice, and commit to the following demands to support our communities:

The City immediately reviews compliance of administrative and front line staff in all city District of Columbia government agencies with the District’s “Gender Identity or Expression” legal protections for transgender and gender nonconforming individuals, and ensure that all staff are adequately trained to adhere to these standards.

The City ends its practice of incarcerating trans women of color, particularly young people. In place of this practice, the City will create a diversion program that provides services to trans people living on the margins, who by necessity are often forced to participate in underground economies. Further:
The City immediately end its use of “jump-out” arrests;
The City deprioritize arrests for solicitation and other related offenses;
The City expand access to Crime Victims Compensation Programs (CVCP) so that victims of a crime who engage in sex work can comfortably report the crime and seek legal remedy without facing charges related to their means of employment;
The City fully decriminalize sex work by the year 2019.

Mayor Bower fulfills her campaign promises to the District of Columbia’s queer and trans populations by:
Addressing hate crimes that target queer and trans communities, particularly in cases where said crimes are committed by officers or other employees of the Metropolitan Police Department, who in committing such crimes break their oaths to protect and defend the citizens of the District of Columbia. In such cases, even while evidence is being collected, the perpetrator shall be immediately removed from duty and the Metropolitan Police Department shall cooperate fully and transparently with the victim’s communities in order to ensure due process during such investigations;
Designing and implementing a cross-agency strategy whose purpose is to identify and reduce violence directed towards trans and queer persons, especially young people and community members of color;
Providing a thorough and transparent report on what the Bowser Administration is doing to reduce the harassment of trans and queer youths in their schools, in their homes, and on the streets.

The City forms a taskforce of queer and trans community leaders and experts of color to be consulted for their input and guidance as the city develops and sustains programs and policies that support these communities. Members of this community taskforce must not in any way be affiliated with the Government of the District of Columbia or the Metropolitan Police Department.