Recent news in New Mexico and across the country highlights the problem of sexual harassment in campaign and political environments, but we have known it has existed for years.
Sexualized comments, “jokes,” comments about women’s bodies, lewd and/or threatening communications, pressure to spend time with the person, sexually explicit gestures, unwelcome touching or hugging, stalking, groping, ranging all the way to sexual assault. One word keeps surfacing – pervasive.
For some, speaking out about harassment means choosing between our personal safety and our professional futures or policy successes. For women of color, like Anita Hill, speaking out can mean being vilified, not believed, and having life-long backlash from being public with their story. For all victims, telling their stories has meant calculating the risk to determine if seeking justice is worth the backlash and relived trauma they may experience by doing so.
It’s time we had a long-overdue conversation about sexual harassment in the Roundhouse, so we’re joining those doing just that.
ProgressNowNM joined a coalition of community and non-profit organizations calling for elected leaders in the Roundhouse and in political parties to step up to put an end to the culture. We need your help to show that real New Mexicans behind organizations like ours will stand up for champions working to end sexual harassment in New Mexico politics.
To elected leaders representing New Mexico:
We support action to end sexual harassment and all forms of sexual violence:
- We commit to making sure our own “house” is in order by updating the sexual harassment policies in our own organizations and requiring sexual harassment training for all our employees.
- We support leadership on both sides of the aisle in both the House and Senate of the New Mexico State Legislature to take these three actions:
- partner with a community organization working to end sexual violence to update its policy on sexual harassment,
- require training for all legislators and staff working in the Roundhouse, and
- include in the policy a reporting and review process that protects victims’ confidentiality and that is conducted by an entity outside of the Legislature.
- We challenge all political parties to take these same actions.
- We support the Secretary of State in pushing to require all lobbyists be trained on sexual harassment.
- We call for all working in the Roundhouse and in politics, from both sides of the aisle, to commit to calling out any form of sexual harassment and sexual violence when they see it. We specifically urge men to address other men doing this by naming the behavior in the moment they are aware of it.
Now is the time. Join us.
We’ll deliver your message and messages from thousands of other signers to our elected and political party leaders, and we’ll share their responses back to you.
This is just the start of a long and hard conversation, but together we’ll bring the change we need.
Our political world is one of explicit and implicit power differentials. We stand together to call an end to a culture that supports men using power and privilege in political environments to harass, intimidate, and sexually violate women and LGTBQ people. Stand with us, sign the petition below.
*This is a joint effort of ProgressNow New Mexico, Equality New Mexico, New Mexico Voices for Children, Olé, Southwest Organizing Project and the Center for Civic Policy, New Mexico Working Families, Strong Families New Mexico, and Common Cause New Mexico.