Meeting 11/5/13 – What Happened. And did I mention there’s a Google Group?

There were between 10-15 of us today.  A lot of new people showed up!  I want to thank everyone sooooooooooo much for coming!!

So, here’s what we talked about:

1.  Address
2.  Phone #
3.  Meetings
4.  Flyers and Promo
5.  Alternative Image, promo, etc. to appeal to others in the local adult industry
6.  TDoR – Nov 20
7.  IDEVASW – Dec 17
8.  This Week
9.  Google Group

10.  Other

  1. Address:

    We have an address:

    SWOP-NOLA
    5000 St. Claude Ave Suite 127
    New Orleans, LA  70117-4224

    We can receive packages there.  If you happen to contact someone who needs to send us something (free stuff?!?!), that’s the address you should use.  That’s also the return address for everything dealing with the Clinic List project.

  2. Phone number:

    We now have a phone number:  504-345-9895
    It’s through Google Voice.  Someone said they knew all about Google Voice.  That person should contact me ASAP!  I want to set it up to go directly to voicemail most of the time.

  3. Meetings:

    We’ve lost what was to be our regular, private meeting space (they’re shutting down).  Today was awesome, but it was also kind of a clusterfuck.  We finally have so many people attending that we can have like 5 conversations at once!  That’s cool, because forever it was maybe 5-7 of us max each meeting.  But now we need to go about this in a somewhat more orderly fashion. Sooooooo….

    • We need a better, quieter, more private place to meet.  I’d like to talk to the people at The Healing Center.  They have tons of rooms in that place.  Someone said they could help with arranging that.  That person should get in touch with me ASAP 🙂
    • Did anyone else suggest other (more private, quieter) places to meet?  I forget.  Allow me to direct you to the Google Group if so.
    • I usually prepare a basic agenda before each meeting (this is nothing fancy–just a list of stuff we’ve been working on lately, progress notes, new developments, random ideas, etc.).  I’d love if yall would suggest topics that you’d like to address each meeting.  You can either do this beforehand (through email, or by commenting on the news post), or at the beginning of the meeting.  This way, we make time for everyone’s concerns/interests to be addressed, and those of us who are loud and talkative (myself included) don’t drown out the people who are quieter or less bold.
    • After we get the Serious Business out the way, we can sit around and talk and drink and hang out and be social for however long we want.  But some people are on a tighter schedule, so they need to talk about the important stuff and then run.
  4. SWOP-NOLA Flyers and Promo:

    • Old Flyers:  A bunch of you took old flyers.  Now go forth and put them places where they will be seen by the people who need to see them!!  Seriously, they cost me $$, so put them somewhere other than under my bed (which is where they’ve been for like a year, heh).  If you didn’t take any, and you’d like to do some flyering, you can always go ahead and print some out.  We have some small (read: 2 copies per page) flyers in .pdf, .png, and .jpg. here:  SWOP-NOLA Info Flyer for Tabling: Escorts, Service Providers, Strippers
    • New Flyers:  New color flyers (two sided with this image and this one) will be shipped in 2 weeks.  If you are interested in flyering around town, please contact me, and I’ll call/email you when the box shows up on my doorstep.  Sorry for the delay, there was a problem with the last company I tried, so I finally just said F-you, canceled the order, and went with Vistaprint.
    • If you have a website and you’d like to promote SWOP-NOLA, please do!  You can simply make a text link to swop-nola.org, or you can post a banner link – just copy and past the code for one of the banners on this page: How You Can Help

  5. New / Alternative Image, flyers, and promo to widen appeal:

    • We’ve addressed the idea that SWOP-NOLA’s image might be a bit alienating for some potential members a few times before, most recently in the last meeting (under 1. What do YOU need from SWOP?).  Basically, we want people to know that while we are an activist group, we are here to provide support, info, resources, etc. for all local adult industry workers, because there’s strength in numbers.  There are several chapters of SWOP that have done this (created a more local-centric group with a broader scope), such as SCAPA (Sin City Alternative Professionals Association), which is also SWOP-Las Vegas, Red Light Chicago (SWOP-Chicago), SWAN-Colorado (Sex Worker Alliance and Networking), which is also a SWOP chapter, and Sex Worker Action of NY (also SWOP-NY).  We’ve been talking about this off and on for at least a year, but I suck at coming up with names.  HALP.
    • Someone volunteered to come up with some alternative promo images that might appeal to dancers and other people working in the adult entertainment industry.  Up to this point, we’ve mostly been targeting full-service sex workers, since that’s what many of us do, so the term “provider” worked just fine, and we’ve been trying to make the term “sex worker” catch on (slowly but surely, yall).  To the person who volunteered for that – I look forward to seeing your ideas in the Google Group!
  6. Transgender Day of Remembrance

    !!!!  I just realized that November 20th is Transgender Day of Remembrance.  We gotta do something.  I guess we should contact other local orgs and see what they have planned.  WWAV, BreakOUT!…there are a ton.

  7. December 17th:

    Here’s what we have so far:  SWOP-NOLA December 17th plan.  Someone volunteered to put together the “What is December 17th”-type flyer that we’ll be handing out.  Lots of you had ideas about a private-ish space we could use for the 2nd half of the event.  Let’s discuss that…in the Google Group!  Also, any leads on cheap red parasols?  To the Google Group you go!

  8. Stuff I’m going to:

    • Tomorrow at 6pm (Wednesday 11/6), I plan to go to Gender and Incarceration Panel Discussion moderated by Melissa Harris-Perry.  If you’d like to come with, let me know.  I have a car and can drive fairly OK.
    • I’m meeting with the woman who does SlutWalk NOLA (and here’s the FB group) this Thursday sometime after 6pm.  I want to talk to her about promo stuff and fundraising, and also I just want to meet up with her because I admire what she’s doing.  If anyone would like to join, let me know.  As with anything I announce here, if transportation is an issue, I will come get you (provided you don’t live one of the places I’m scared to drive, like the West Bank or the Northshore), provided you give me some notice.
    • This coming Sunday the 9th, I’m meeting with the director of the New Orleans Human Trafficking Working Group at 6pm.  She is interested in having a sex worker-informed approach to addressing trafficking and wants “to ensure that any work that the New Orleans Human Trafficking Working Group undertakes 1) does not create “collateral damange” among the sex worker community, and 2) is informed by the experiences of people who are on the ground and see exploitation or the inroads to exploitation at the very least.”  I can get on board with that.  Wanna come along?
  9. Google Group:

    • If you are attending meetings, PLEASE make sure you are on the Google Group.   If you came to the meeting and you have not received an invite to the group, contact me ASAP.  I seriously cannot be the liason between everyone anymore; there are too many people and too many projects and honestly, I have trouble juggling my own shit (do the laundry!  pay the bills!  remember to eat!!).  Y’all can communicate with each other through there, let us know where you’re at re: progress, ask for help, etc., and the rest of us can see what’s going on. You can request membership by going directly to the forum/group. Again:

      • It’s private (as opposed to the mass emails that I send out).
      • More detailed versions of email announcements/meeting notes are posted there.
      • We can all communicate with each other through there.  If you’re interested in working on certain projects, that is where you should be talking about them.  For instance, if you’re interested in working on the Clinic List project, you can contact the person in charge of that through the Google Group.  Additionally, anyone who sees you talking about it there can volunteer advice and suggestions.  Another example:  Suzie works at a club on Bourbon.  Bobby has a ton of flyers.  Suzie decides she wants to leave a stack of flyers in the dressing room at the club where she works.  Who should she contact?  You get it.
  10. Other things we talked about briefly:

    • Outreach to guys and LBGT (Corner Pocket, etc.) re: safe sex.  Apparently some of these guys are super young and could use a little refresher re: how to be safe.  Someone volunteered to talk to her friends and start on this.
    • Addiction outreach: great idea, probably gonna save this for a later date, or at least until we get the above project started.  But this is a great resource:  Trystereo Syringe Distro.
    • Re: Girls with pimps/managers – Some were voicing concern over that sort of situation.

      In general, I feel like I don’t have the authority to tell someone how to work, because that’s a complicated issue.  So, I like to think about what it is specifically that’s problematic with that situation.  Is there domestic violence?  Well, there are resources available for that.  Are there domestic violence resources in place (locally) that are sex-worker friendly?  Do we know where to direct people if they need that?  Or is it the “Why does he get her money when she does all the work?” factor?  If so, then maybe she should be the one to answer that (or not, if she doesn’t wanna)–and there are tons of reasons why someone might choose to work like that.  I read this the other day:  Who’s Your Man?  It’s a speech from a December 17th event last year.  It’s worth a read.  We should talk more about this next time.

If there is ANYTHING we talked about in the meeting that I haven’t covered here, or if there’s something I said I would do and it’s not obvious that I’ve done it yet, contact me.  Never think to yourself, “oh, I don’t want to bother her…”  Bother me.  I promise you, if I don’t mention it, it means I’ve forgotten already.  Remind me!

For everyone:  Don’t think your ideas need to be badass before you propose a project or ask for feedback.  Something is better than nothing.  Don’t leave me to my own devices, or I will come up with shit that amuses me, but is probably inappropriate, like this: SWOP-NOLA: Please Come Again! (heh…come…).