Throughout his mayoral campaign, Bill de Blasio promised New York City residents that part of his office’s platform on public health would be ending the incredibly destructive practice of using condoms as evidence. The position showed up on the campaign’s response to PROP’s Voters’ Education Guide; in media inquiries into de Blasio’s positions as Public Advocate; even on de Blasio’s campaign website, billdeblasio.com. Unfortunately the Mayor has not acted on his promise to New Yorkers.
Not only has there been no response from the Mayor’s Office about our request for an immediate executive order ending the use of condoms as evidence, recent arrest records show that as of January 12th the NYPD are still seizing condoms as evidence. While the NYPD still maintains that this practice is either not used or rarely used, on the arrest forms in Kings County there is a section specifically to indicate the number of condoms seized during the arrest.
We ask that all New York City residents tell Mayor de Blasio to keep his promise and protect our city’s public health by issuing an executive order banning the practice of using condoms as evidence of prostitution-related offenses by the police or prosecutors. Here is a script you can use:
"Hi my name is ______________ and I live in (Bronx/Brooklyn/Manhattan/Queens/Staten Island). I am (calling/writing) to ask that Mayor Bill de Blasio immediately issue an executive order ending the use of condoms as evidence of prostitution-related offenses. The Mayor listed ending the use of condoms as evidence on his campaign website last year as part of his platform on public health, but your office has failed to act on this critical issue. Using condoms as evidence is detrimental to the health of all New York City residents, and especially those vulnerable to HIV transmission. It also has resulted in the sort of police racial profiling of Black and Latina queer youth and trans women, that the Mayor campaigned against last year. I am asking the Mayor to please stick to his promises to promote public health and end racist policing in New York City by issuing an executive order to end the practice of condoms as evidence. Thank you."
You can email the Mayor’s office at Ewolfe@cityhall.nyc.gov or can participate on our call-in Thursday 27th 12pm-3pm by calling this number (212) 788-3000.
UPDATE: Apparently the staffers are telling people that the office does not take complaints, transferring them to 311, or to use the official complaint form at NYC.gov. Here are some ways to respond:
1. We’re not registering a complaint, we’re requesting the Mayor keep his campaign promise to NYC residents.
2. If they transfer you to 311, hang up and call again.
3. If they tell you to use the official complaint form, tell them that Red UP and others have tried to contact them about this problem multiple times through official channels.
They’ve also been telling people that they don’t record phone calls and therefore we should set up an email form and then they’ll direct to the appropriate place. Diversion tactics 101; but even if it is true that they don’t record phone calls, it still is just as or more effective than having them create an inbox that they can willfully ignore.
The point of direct action is to disrupt the normal procedure of government to pressure them into responding. NYC residents, especially queer youth of color and trans women, have had their lives disrupted and will continue to have their lives disrupted by the seizure of condoms and prostitution arrests using condoms as evidence. Don’t let up and let us know if you have any questions or follow up.
20 minutes left to do this, this is important - Rachel