Talking about Women – from the Eleanor’s Legacy Lunch: Assemblymember Jo-Anne Simon, Progressive Caucus Vice Chair, Elisa-Sumner and Barbara Simon

The Progressive Caucus will be holding its meeting this Friday February 16th from from 8:45 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at the Special Business meeting held at Labor Temple located at 890 Third Street in Albany.

The primary purpose of our Caucus meeting is to discuss our resolution calling for a JCOPE investigation into the allegations of sexual harassment against State Senator Jeff Klein, see also NY Daily News, since the Senate leadership has already announced that it will not be launching its own investigation.

The main function of this special meeting is to nominate U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who is a strong advocate for women who have been victimized by sexual assault and harassment, so it seems particularly appropriate that we confront these issues when they arise in our party.

While JCOPE may not be the perfect vehicle for such an investigation, it is better than no vehicle.

It is meaningless to decry sexual harassment in theory if we don’t do something about it in practice.

In this instance, there are sexual harassment allegations against Senator Klein by a credible accuser. And many elected officials, including Governor Cuomo and Jeff Klein himself, have called for an investigation into them.

We cannot decry sexual harassment or abuse by the likes of Donald Trump or Rob Porter without also taking such charges seriously when they are levied against a Democrat, especially a powerful Democrat.

A recent Politico article noted the enormous amount of monies paid out by New York State government to settle sexual harassment claims.

The issue of sexual harassment is – as we see daily – one that is prevalent and destructive throughout all aspects of our society.  Sexual harassment is tied to sex discrimination in the workforce and is one of the reasons that women do not have workplace parity with men. For women to have true equality we must have economic equality, and to have economic equality we must ensure that all workplaces are free from harassment and abuse.

We therefore need your support to ensure that the resolution gets a real vote on Friday in the Executive Committee and on the floor of the main meeting. If Democrats wish to lead, we must do the hard work of fighting to change not just the inequities in our state and country, but also those in our party.

Progressive Caucus Chair Rachel Lavine at Women's March





Rachel Lavine


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