Who We Are
#HarassmentFreeAlbany, a campaign started by the Sexual Harassment Working Group, was launched by seven former New York State legislative employees who experienced, witnessed, or reported sexual harassment by former Assembly Members Vito Lopez and Micah Kellner, former Counsel to Speaker Sheldon Silver Michael Boxley, and Senator Jeff Klein.
We’re organizing to urge the New York State Legislature to listed to victims and hold hearings on gender-based discrimination and harassment reform.
In the wake of #MeToo, we have seen the United States Congress, states, and cities across the country hold public hearings to grapple with gender-based harassment.
New York State has not held a state hearing on Sexual Harassment since Governor Mario Cuomo created a Sexual Harassment Task Force in 1992.
New York State can act to protect and encourage victims to come forward by:
#1. Strengthening Statewide Legal Definitions Related to Gender-Based Discrimination and Harassment.
#2. Reforming and Appropriately Funding a Truly Independent New York State Division of Human Rights that Oversees all Discrimination Harassment Policy Enforcement.
#3. Increasing Protections for Victims Seeking Redress for Damages.
Ask your representative to call for #MeTooPublicHearings.
22 Senators and 23 Assembly members have already signed a letter calling for a legislative public hearing, and those who haven’t still can. You can make an impact by calling your representative and asking them to join their colleagues.
Not sure who your representatives are? Find out here.
You can also check to see if your representative already signed the letter below:
Hi my name is [NAME] and I am a constituent of [ELECTED OFFICIAL]
If they signed the letter:
I want to thank [ELECTED OFFICIAL] for signing [Assemblymember Quart’s/Senator Krueger’s] letter requesting the [Senate/Assembly] convene a public hearing to address gender-based harassment and discrimination.
Unfortunately, I’m aware that one has yet to be scheduled.
Can I count on him/her to continue advocating for a hearing?
If they have not signed the letter:
As I’m sure the [Senator/Assemblymember] is aware, New York is facing the same #MeToo crisis that is sweeping the nation.
The laws passed this past April was a step in the right direction, but state officials can do even more, and it begins with holding a public hearing.
Providing victims a platform to share experiences is the first step in the #MeToo revolution.
The more we talk about the harmful impact of workplace harassment and discrimination, the more those around us understand what and how to change.
Some of [ELECTED OFFICIAL] ‘s colleagues signed a letter requesting a public hearing be scheduled. [Assemblymember Quart/Senator Krueger] is carrying the letter. Can I count on [ELECTED OFFICIAL] to sign on?