Grind the Vote 2008 : Sex Workers From Pole to Poll


On Thursday July 3, $pread Magazine, in conjunction with SWANK (Sex Workers Action New York) and SWOP-NYC (Sex Workers Outreach Project), is proud to host their first pre-fourth of July burlesque bash and voter registration event, Grind The Vote, at The Slipper Room on New York’s Lower East Side. A national effort– with events from Sin City to the Windy City, the Capital to the Big Apple– sex workers and their allies are organizing into an electoral force in the pursuit of political and economic justice.

“Grind The Vote is the first-ever national voter awareness and registration event for sex workers and their allies in the United States,” says Carol Leigh of BAYSWAN (Bay Area Sex Worker Advocacy Network). “Our fast growing movement has learned much about the political process and how crucial our political participation is. This day is a milestone in the history of political participation and self-representation in the USA.”


Grind The Vote 2008 will register voters and create awareness around the issues most concerning sex workers throughout the country. “Sex workers are often only considered newsworthy when they are stereotyped in sensational scandals, as in the case of former governor Eliot Spitzer or the profiles of those murdered by serial killer Robert Pickton,” says Shakti Ziller, Director of Communications for $pread Magazine. “The public is generally unaware that sex workers are a strong political force organizing for our rights. Grind The Vote 2008 is our national coming out party.”  As a part of this effort, $pread has produced fact sheets summarizing the stances of the presidential candidates on the most pressing political issues affecting sex workers and their allies. These include issues as diverse as our communities themselves, from immigration and labor rights,  to health care and reproductive justice.


“We are ready, willing and available to talk to the public about so much more than just our hourly rates. We are vibrant, opinionated, informed. Our voices have been silenced and our characters condemned for far too long. At the polls and in the media, sex workers are stepping up to demand that we be heard.” says Dylan Wolfe of SWANK.


Local burlesque stars have shown overwhelming support for Grind The Vote, volunteering their time and energy for a political cause they believe in. Among those performing on July 3rd are Pookie Patootie, La John Joseph, Nasty Canasta, Bastard Keith, and AuroraBoobRealis of Brown Girls Burlesque. Doors open at 8pm, the burlesque show begins at 9pm. Interested media representatives should RSVP to the event. More details can be found at www.spreadmagazine.org/grindthevote/ or by contacting these organizations’ various representatives.

8 Responses

  1. As a part of this effort, $pread has produced fact sheets summarizing the stances of the presidential candidates on the most pressing political issues affecting sex workers and their allies. These include issues as diverse as our communities themselves, from immigration and labor rights, to health care and reproductive justice.

    I couldn’t find the Fact Sheets… can someone post that link?

  2. I’d love to get the fact sheets as well!

  3. The Fact Sheets haven’t been released yet–they will be released by the time of the first event, July 3rd.

  4. Will we be able to get them online?

  5. Yes they will be posted to the Grind The Vote website as I understand it.

  6. Other and I signature gathers for the petition have registered many people to vote along the way.
    Our issue, from a worker based prospective, seems to inspire those who’ve never voted before because they believe the electoral system is rigged by big money and corrupt. Not that anyone can argue against that, but everyone wants to vote to set the prostitutes free!

  7. […] Grind the Vote 2008 : Sex Workers From Pole to Poll […]

  8. […] Guide today as part of Grind The Vote 2008, a voter registration drive covered by Bound, Not Gagged here. The Voter Guide taps into the positions of the two major-party presidential candidates and their […]

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