Read the full article by Matt Cohen at MotherJones.com

When Julia Salazar, the 28-year-old Democratic Socialist state senator for New York’s 18th district, was campaigning last year, one of her most reliable set of volunteers was a group that has been largely cast out of mainstream political coalitions. Hundreds of sex workers and sex work advocates signed up to canvassfor Salazar in the lead-up to the primary election, in which she unseated incumbent state Sen. Martin Malave Dilan.

Salazar made the rights, health, and safety of sex workers a priority for her campaign. “Sex workers are workers, and they deserve to be treated with dignity, including protections and decent working conditions, rather than the abuse and criminalization that they currently face,” she told the Intercept last August. “I’m dedicated to defending workers’ rights, reforming our criminal justice system and ending exploitation, and we know that criminalization puts everyone in sex work at risk rather than protecting them.”