We’re Testifying at DC City Council Tomorrow! Some Pro Tips.

We are SO excited about the DC Council street harassment roundtable TOMORROW, Thursday, December 3rd at 10am. This will be the first roundtable ever to address public sexual harassment and assault and will be our chance to tell DC City Council to step up and take action on this important issue.

If you’re signed up to testify, we’ve got a few tips on how to testify like a pro. If you’re not testifying, skip to tip #5 for information on virtually cheering for CASS and the roundtable.

Tip #1: Pat yourself on the back.

Give yourself a hug. High-five yourself. Because by testifying you’re helping to make DC a safer place to live for everyone.

Tip #2: Practice

Your testimony must be three minutes or less, so practice in the mirror a few times to make sure you’re within the time limit and comfortable with what you’re saying.

Tip #3: Bring copies of your testimony

You should have 8-10 printed copies of your testimony with you at the hearing to be distributed to the Councilors. And don’t forget one for yourself! Your copy can have larger type or spacing so that it’s easy for you to read.

Tip #4: Speak from the heart

Testifying can be intimidating, but remember that everyone in the room is there to listen to what you have to say. Your experiences offer an invaluable perspective on this issue and the needs of DC citizens. Take deep breaths and talk slowly and into the microphone so that everyone can hear you.

Tip #5: Tweet!

The roundtable is a wonderful opportunity to connect with the City Council in person, but we’ll also be hashtagging up a storm on twitter. Even if you can’t make the hearing, use the hashtag #raisethebar to tweet @councilofdc, @safespacesDC, and @ your council member. Let them know how excited you are that they’re supporting CASS in making DC safer for women and LGBTQGNC people.

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Work in a Bar? Participate in our Focus Group to Help End Harassment in Bars!

We’re working to make DC bars a safer place for everyone, and we need your help. Do you work at a bar or know people who do?

For years, Collective Action for Safe Spaces has been working hard advocating against public sexual harassment and assault in the District. We’ve made great strides, but we still have a ways to go before DC the safe space we know it can be. As we shared in an earlier post, we’re teaming up with Councilmember Brianne Nadeau and a number of local organizations to convene the first-ever DC City Council roundtable on street harassment and assault.SafeBars- 1 line

Among the many agencies that will be attending the roundtable, there will be a representative from the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) present.

We developed our Safe Bars training program in partnership with Defend Yourself to address the problem of sexual harassment at bars — and equip bar staff with the skills to intervene to prevent assault. Next, we want to work with ABRA to incentivize bars to participate in this training.

You can help in two ways:

Attend our bar owner/manager/staff focus group on sexual harassment and assault in bars
Tuesday, November 24 from 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
1615 M St NW, Ansel Adams Gallery Meeting Room


Attend and/or testify at the DC City Council roundtable on street harassment and assault
Thursday, December 3 at 10 AM
John A. Wilson Building, Room 500, 1350 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

Thank you for your help in fighting harassment and assault in DC!

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TAKE ACTION: DC City Council Roundtable on Street Harassment

Traffic, construction, and the occasional rodent of unusual size: these are all things that we’ve come to expect from the DC city-living experience. Unfortunately, street harassment is also a near-daily occurrence for more than 12,000 people across the District. Although street harassment may seem to some like just another annoyance, it’s actually a pervasive problem with devastating, long-term effects on the health and safety of its victims. Here at CASS, we believe street harassment is not something we should have to tolerate. That’s why CASS is teaming up with Councilmember Brianne Nadeau (D-Ward 1), Stop Street Harassment, Defend Yourself, and the DC Rape Crisis Center to convene the first-ever DC Council roundtable specifically addressing street harassment and assault.

DC Council Meeting

For years, our work at CASS has been empowered by the compelling stories you’ve shared through our blog. Your experiences have allowed us to illuminate the issue of street harassment as one that affects people from all backgrounds, gender expressions, and identities, in each and every ward of our city. And now that we’ve got the attention of city leaders, we need your help to ensure that the DC Council acts to end street harassment and assault. Have your voice heard: Sign up to attend and/or testify at the DC Council roundtable on street harassment. All volunteers will receive follow-up details as well as support for those new to testifying before the DC Council.

The roundtable, hosted jointly by the Judiciary Committee and the Committee on Housing and Community Development, is scheduled for December 3, 2015 at 10 AM in Room 500 of the John A. Wilson Building (1350 Pennsylvania Ave, NW).

Interested in partnering with us or learning more? Email jessica@collectiveactiondc.org.