A vote in a New York borough is part of the congresswomans effort to change her party
It doesnt look like much but, subject to a vote this week, the red-light district along Roosevelt Avenue in Queens, New York, will become the scene for the next phase of the political insurrection being led by the Democrats congressional superstar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Its here, on any given night, that the citys LGBT sex workers ply their trade. Its a notoriously insecure and problematic line of work, and none more so than for immigrant transsexual sex workers, thanks to elevated levels of police harassment, lack of access to the system of bail bonds, and the threat of roundups by the Immigration Customs Enforcement agency.
These workers rights are being championed by Tiffany Cabn, a queer Latina woman running for Queens district attorney in a vote on Tuesday and when Ocasio-Cortez enthusiastically endorsed her campaign two weeks ago, it helped propel Cabns marginal candidacy to centre-stage, and with it the issue of legalising sex work in the city.
Over the past week, parts of the national Democratic political establishment, as represented by presidential contenders Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, followed the Bronx congresswomans lead in backing the 31-year-old public defender.
The New York Times followed suit, arguing in an editorial that Cabn was the Democrat best poised to become one of a growing number of prosecutors to show what can be done without infringing on civil liberties, criminalising black and Hispanic Americans and mistaking punishment for the only form of justice.