Opposing RI S0096 (The Adult Entertainment Performance Tax)
To the Senate Special Legislation & Veterans Affairs, Frank Ciccone, Betty Crowley, Erin Prata, Donna Nesslebush and Ana Quezada,

We are writing to oppose RI - S0096, also known as the Adult Entertainment Performance Tax Act. This bill was introduced on January 16, 2019, and it imposes a $2 tax for admission to adult entertainment businesses. The funds from this tax will go to the Attorney General's office to “combat human trafficking, and pay to test rape kits”

It is no coincidence that this bill was introduced less than two weeks after the Foxy Lady reopened by the RI supreme court. This tax is nothing more than an attempt at retaliation by the state against sex workers. This bill attacks sex worker establishments by forcing them to pay to combat sex trafficking, for which they are not culpable.

This moralistic tax on sex work also fails to address the real roots of trafficking in the state. Rhode Island has neglected provision of adequate services for its youth, as evidenced by recent concern over the conduct of Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) leadership following a nine-year-old child's death in their custody. Similar failures have often led to the trafficking of minors. The state should focus their energy on fixing their broken youth services programs rather than punishing sex workers who are simply trying to earn a living.

It is also offensive that the Rhode Island state legislature purports to fight sexual violence through the regulation of sex workers' bodies.

Sincerely,

Call off Your Tired Old Ethics (COYOTE RI)

February 1, 2019


In addition to:

June Kramer
Bella Robinson
Elena Shih
Savannah Sly
Shannah Kurland
Joshua Buznitsky
Mitchell Campany
Rachel Rourke
Meghan Peterson
Julianna Brown
Cris Sardina- Desiree Alliance
Peter Metrinko
Shanna Wells, Organizer, RI Womxn's Action Initiative
Brenna Bezanson
Yanhoo Park Cho
Carol Leigh, BAYSWAN (Bay Area Sex Worker Advocacy Network)
Amber Batts
Brown Asian Sisters Empowered (BASE)
Jessica Jiang
Yema Yang (Disability Justice at Brown)
Emma Wexler
Jacqueline E Goldman
Emily Yoshioka
May Niiya
Alina Li
Amy Chin
Megan C Smith
Natasha Richmond
Anne Zhao
Elena Householder Rivera
Nina Wolff Landau
Kisa Takesue
Marie-Anne Barron
Ben Kelley
Finch Collins
Alex Andrews
Laurence Cohen
Querube Suarez-Werlein
James Hernandez
Genevieve Morton
Barbara A. Gianola
Georgina Alcuria
Annie Atwater
Toni Newman, St. James Infirmary
Andie Stewart
Tracy Ryan
Lisa Peterson
J. Leigh Brantly
Jon Lax
Justice Gaines
Sarath Suong
Ahmed Sesay
Paul Tavarez
Corey Krajewski
Osiris Diensthuber
Charles Chhor
Glenn Turner
Rebekah Yang
Christine Shio Lim
Pucci Angell
Erin Adam
Chibundo Egwuatu
Shannon Donahue
Ari Packard
Malana Krongelb
Maureen Eckert
Freya Mars
Steve Ahlquist, UpriseRI
Mika Cooper
Lana Kormik

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