Community advocacy organizations across New Mexico are joining together to demand action to end sexual harassment in New Mexico politics. We signed this letter to our elected and political leaders, and you can join as a citizen co-sponsor, too.
To elected leaders representing New Mexico:
We call for 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.
Although recent news in New Mexico highlights the problem of sexual harassment in campaign and political environments, we the undersigned 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.
*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, Strong Families New Mexico, New Mexico Working Families, New Energy Economy, and Sierra Club: Rio Grande Chapter.