Monday, March 21, 2011

CM James Supports Video Report Exposing Vendor Exploitation of Women of Color

March 21, 2011

Contact Amyre Loomis at (718) 260-9191, (646) 201-8183


(Brooklyn, NY) As a member of the New York City Council, and an advocate for the well-being and progress of women and girls, I stand alongside Black and Brown News in requesting the enforcement of laws to protect this segment of New York City from the exploitation of Newsstand Vendors. I am currently drafting legislation to increase penalties for offending vendors. Please watch the video for more information about this issue, as well as read the law included below.

(Original Video Report) New York City Newsstand Vendors: Exploiting Some, Protecting Others (see link below). Through the course of travels around the city by BBN, they report noticing a disturbing pattern of disparity in how New York City newsstand vendors take liberties in their display cases with the image of Black and Latino women, who model for covers of sexually provocative magazines. BNN found shopkeepers (of all backgrounds) who exploited the images of Black and Latino women, while going to great lengths to protect the image of White women on similar magazine covers. New York City newsstands are licensed by city government and they are bound to state law. According to New York Penal Code Penal Law Sections:

--245.10 Public display of offensive sexual material is defined as showing of the female genitals, pubic area or buttocks with less than a full opaque covering, or the showing of the female breast with less than a fully opaque covering of any portion thereof below the top of the nipple.

-- 245.11 And a person is guilty of public display of offensive sexual material when he with knowledge of its character and content he displays or permits to be displayed in or on any window, showcase, newsstand, display rack, wall, door, billboard, display board, viewing screen, moving picture screen, marquee or similar place, in such manner that the display is easily visible from or in any: public street, sidewalk or thoroughfare; transportation facility; or any place accessible to members of the public without fee or other limit or condition of admission such as a minimum age requirement.

Please view these links:
-- Video on You tube
-- New York City Newsstand Vendors: Exploiting Some, Protecting Others

I thank you in advance for joining this important cause and sharing the message with others. We must do everything we can to protect women and girls from exploitation, specifically as we lift up all women during this March in honor of Women’s History month 2011.

-Letitia James, Member of City Council
35th District, Brooklyn


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