24 minutes In-studio interview with Lyn Archer, New Orleans
resident and stripper, on proposed shut-down of more than half of French
Quarter Strip Clubs.
*Song Credit “Shop Around (Live)” Smokey Robinson & the Miracles
**Photo Credit: Lyn Archer heard rumors that City Council was proposing the shut down of New Orleans’ French Quarter strip clubs, but had trouble believing it could be so. Then, this notice appeared on the lockers at the club she works at! Full text is “Tuesday, June 28th at 1:30 City Hall Meeting All employees and entertainers are encouraged to come. They are trying to limit strip clubs and enforce more laws on our business. All IPE’s that attend will get 3 nights/days free set rent. You must dress appropriately. : )”
Tomorrow, Tuesday, July 28, New Orleans
City Council holds a Public Hearing that addresses the Planning
Commission’s just-published results of Motion M-16-22, the Adult Live
Performance Venues Study, which calls for the shut down of more than
half of the 23 strip clubs in and near the French Quarter. People who
work in strip clubs, as well as French Quarter business- and home-owners
have responded with concerns about the Disney-ification of the
District, and the city’s role in tourist-centric development that leaves
behind the livelihood and wellbeings of people that live and work in
the French Quarter.
The Vieux Carre Entertainment District is 6
blocks of Bourbon Street on which there are 14 strip clubs. The Adult
Live Performance Venues Study proposes a cap that prevents any new strip
clubs from opening and to reduce the total number down to 7 through
zoning laws that space them block by block. The City Council Motion
M-16-22 is a gun pointed at the “soft target” of sex workers and their
One of the ways the City can legally target strip
clubs is by suspending liquor permits. In October 2015 “Operation Trick
or Treat” was a collaboration between ATC, 8th District Police, and
State Police that resulted in loss of jobs for service workers and
arrests of strippers, as well as 5 clubs losing their liquor licenses.
Following the raids, dancers were afraid to dance for people, and
customers were scared to pay them. The closures targeted the facades of
the clubs, in particular clubs in historic buildings that fall under
non-conforming zoning issues and those whose dancers are tattooed or
whose weight, height, or age fall outside of the ideal numbers, or those
whop are male, trans, or “read” as gay. Gay clubs in the Vieux Carre
Entertainment District are impacted as well by the oppressive, violent
legislation and policing.
In the 690 pages of comment included
in the Adult Performance Venues Study, none consult strippers or service
workers themselves, and most are based in a “broken woman” rhetoric.
These “sex worker exclusionist feminists” ethics accuse women
participating in the work of dancing as being unable to consent or
establish fair work agreements because of a culture of sexual
objectification. The Adult Performance Venues Study advocates for
registration and licensing laws for strippers and relies on increased
law enforcement and surveillance. It includes an overview of other
cities that have thwarted strip clubs, which are some of the worst
cities to strip in. For example, a massive scandal unfolding in Oakland,
California, where strip clubs are illegal, involves police officers who
solicited ongoing relationships with underage sex worker Celeste Guap
and who disclosed information about raids and stings to her. Where strip
clubs are illegal, the strip clubs lack safety and clientele.
Those who support and those who are against the ban on strip clubs are
overwhelmed by concerns over violence. Lyn says community members can
offer support and care to strippers by listening to sex workers, without
judging or shaming them; helping them when they ask, without “saving”
them or defining them; sharing and leveraging your rights when they say
they need you, and loving them!
Join in solidarity at the
Public Hearing on Tuesday, July 28, at 1:40-5:30pm at City Council
Chambers in City Hall, 1300 Perdido Street.
You can read the
full Adult Performance Venues Study in the City Planning section of
nola.gov. Write French Quarter District Council-member Nadine Ramsey and
districtc [at] nola.gov.
What is the federal government doing to fix the fractured and broken mental health care system and how does Louisiana factor into the equation?
For Mental Health Awareness Month, Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) convened a summit on on May 26, 2016 to discuss their comprehensive bipartisan Mental Health Reform Act.
Mental health advocates, providers, and patients gathered for a discussion on comprehensive mental health reform.
“Full Summit Agenda
9:30 a.m. Welcome Senators Chris Murphy and Bill Cassidy Remarks by HELP Chairman Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and HELP Ranking Member Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)
9:50 a.m. What Does The Research Show About The Need For Action Senator Chris Murphy Ashish Jha, MD, MPH, Director, Harvard Global Health Institute (VIEW SLIDE PRESENTATION: http://1.usa.gov/1NQjRy3) Benjamin F. Miller, PsyD, Director, Eugene S. Farley, Jr. Health Policy Center, University of Colorado School of Medicine (VIEW SLIDE PRESENTATION: http://1.usa.gov/1sB13so)
10:35 a.m. Provider Perspective on Mental Health Reform Senator Bill Cassidy Maria Oquendo, MD, Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical School Gregory K. Fritz, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Brown University School of Medicine Marion Earls, MD, Director of Pediatric Programs for Community Care of North Carolina
11:20 a.m. Break
11:30 a.m. The Price of Inaction Pete Earley, bestselling author and mental health advocate Hakeem Rahim, CEO, Live Breathe LLC Greg Champagne, Sheriff, St. Charles Parish, LA Peter Jacoby, MD, Saint Mary’s Hospital, Waterbury, CT
12:15 a.m. Break
12:20 p.m. Keynote Speech: Virginia State Senator Creigh Deeds
1:20 p.m. Call to action press conference Senators Chris Murphy and Bill Cassidy John Madigan, VP of Public Policy, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Katrina Velasquez, Esq., Policy Director, Eating Disorders Coalition Lauren Alfred, Policy and Partnership Director, Sandy Hook Promise Mary Giliberti, J.D., Chief Executive Ocer, National Alliance on Mental Illness”
We caught steve merlan on the street to talk to him about books2 prisoners new orleans, b2pnola.org, about their service work. On the table are how book requests work, and the challenges of reading while inside the prison system. Volunteer nights are weekly, sundays at 2527 George Nick Connor drive 4pm.
Winter Circle Productions and WTUL present Kurt Vile at Republic Sunday April 17!
Tickets & info: http://ow.ly/10yvN4
From November 30 to December 4, the internationally renowned Mivos Quartet will be engaged in a