Sacramento Rally and Committee Hearing against Re-Criminalizing Loitering in California (Tuesday, April 23)

In 2022, California governor Gavin Newsom signed Bill SB 357 into law, repealing an anti-loitering law that had criminalized being in public spaces with the intent to commit prositution:

Anti-loitering laws, which are misdemeanors, may not be seen as a “big deal” to some, but they are among the most offensive and absurd laws on the books, because they criminalize people for literally doing nothing, which is a horrible precedent when you think about it. Similar to how some police traffic stops have been deemed to criminalize “driving while black” due to the racial disparities in how they tend to be enforced, letting police arrest people for “loitering with intent to commit prostitution” can be seen as a bid to criminalize “walking while sexy”.

Governor Gavin Newsom was a vocal opponent of sex work rights when he was mayor of San Francisco, so if he’s sincerely had a change of heart, that’s good. Or this may have just reflected his desire to not alienate his party’s progressive voters in a potential run for president. But at least he signed the reform measure introduced by San Francisco state senator Scott Wiener, and it’s been in effect since January 2023.

Now, unfortunately, there’s an effort in the legislature to undo this progress. Three different (but apparently very similar) versions of legislation aiming to do this are in the hopper:

AB 2034 Rodriguez (Bill Text - AB-2034 Crimes: loitering for the purpose of engaging in a prostitution offense.)
AB 2646 Ta (Bill Text - AB-2646 Crimes: loitering for the purpose of engaging in a prostitution offense.)
SB 1219 Seyarto (Bill Text - SB-1219 Crimes: prostitution.)

On April 23, sex work rights advocates will be holding a rally at the state Capitol, and attending a Public Safety Committee hearing on AB 2646. I will be among the speakers, speaking as a Libertarian and sex worker. You can see more info and register at Flier attached.

There are a whole bunch of bills scheduled to have hearings in the Public Safety Committee that day, so we don’t know precisely when AB 2646 will come up. There will be someone inside during the rally to let us know when it does. The committee’s hearings starts at 9am and presumably go until close of business; the rally starts at 1030am. There are in fact many bills on the agenda that sound of potential libertarian interest, among them:

A.B.No. 2296 Villapudua. Enhancements: concentrated cannabis.
A.B.No. 2309 Muratsuchi. City attorney: state law: misdemeanor.
A.B.No. 2391 Vince Fong. Bail: pretrial release.
A.B.No. 2406 Davies. Crimes: theft.
A.B.No. 2456 Jones-Sawyer. Criminal law: civil compromise.
A.B.No. 2470 Joe Patterson. Violent felonies: domestic violence.
A.B.No. 2518 Davies. Firearms: prohibited persons.
A.B.No. 2519 Maienschein. Misdemeanor offenses: deferral of sentencing: firearms prohibition.
A.B.No. 2521 Waldron. Criminal procedure: confidentiality and DNA testing.
A.B.No. 2544 Low. Background checks.
A.B.No. 2576 Stephanie Nguyen. Diversion: attempted murder.
A.B.No. 2603 Low. Hate crimes: search warrants.
A.B.No. 2604 Low. Hate crimes.
A.B.No. 2629 Haney. Firearms: prohibited persons.

You can see the full list, and links to each bill, at Hearings | California State Assembly.

I’ll be driving up, so if anyone in the SF area or en route to Sacramento is interested in going and would like to carpool, let me know. Informal planning meetings for the rally are happening Fridays at 3pm.

Love & Liberty,

((( starchild )))
Chair, Libertarian Party of San Francisco
(415) 573-7997