Weinberg Workgroup on Harassment, Sexual Assault and Misogyny in NJ Politics to Host Public Zoom Meeting

Senator Weinberg at today's virtual press conference.

Weinberg Workgroup on Harassment, Sexual Assault and Misogyny in NJ Politics to Host Public Zoom Meeting

 

Workgroup schedules Zoom public listening session Thursday, February 25, at 11:30 a.m.; speakers expected to address Edna Mahan abuses, harassment in NJ politics

 

Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg and the Workgroup on Harassment, Sexual Assault and Misogyny in New Jersey Politics announced that they would hold a public meeting in Thursday, February 25, at 11:30 a.m.

“Six weeks ago, on January 14, our Workgroup on Harassment, Sexual Assault and Misogyny in New Jersey Politics made sweeping recommendations for reforms to protect women from abuse in the political arena and the criminal justice system,” said Senator Weinberg. “Unknown to us at the time, more than 30 Corrections officers were facing suspension for brutally assaulting or covering up assaults on women inmates just three days earlier at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women, which had been the focus of one of our public listening sessions last summer.

“With this public listening session, our Workgroup continues its role as an ad hoc workgroup outside of government convened to listen impartially to the voices of women who wish to share their lived experiences relating to harassment, sexual assault and misogyny, and to gather ideas of steps that can be taken to positively change the toxic climate for women in politics, government and its institutions, and the public sphere,” she said.

The Workgroup’s Zoom meeting will be open to both the press and the public, and will start at 11:30 a.m. p.m., followed immediately by a Zoom press conference. The public and press can access the Zoom meeting at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc2MIucwvLPara1kmTvZk1w6c-5r7aOST2sRLGj4jMtIBroJg/viewform?usp=sf_linkhttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/82994482728 and those wishing to sign up to speak publicly should email WorkgroupHarassmentMisogynyNJ@gmail.com .

Since the January 14 issuance of the report, S3389 was introduced to implement recommendations by the Weinberg Workgroup and by a separate Workgroup on Campaign Harassment Legislation that would require campaigns and political parties to implement anti-harassment policies, training and a confidential complaint process, and establish an independent governmental unit under the aegis of the Election Law Enforcement Commission to investigate complaints of sexual misconduct in the political arena.

Eight bills to protect the rights of survivors of sexual assault, improve law enforcement and judicial case management and training, and codify harassment and discrimination policies throughout state government were approved by the Assembly Women and Children Committee yesterday, and legislation has been proposed to create an independent public advocate to protect the rights of women in Edna Mahan and other vulnerable populations under state supervision and care.

Senate Weinberg created the workgroup in the wake of a Star-Ledger/NJ Advance Media report in which 20 women told of being groped, propositioned, harassed and even sexually assaulted while serving as campaign staffers, political operatives, legislators and lobbyists.

In addition to Senator Weinberg, the Workgroup includes  Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver; Alison Accettola, Senate Majority General Counsel; Laurel Brennan, Secretary-Treasurer, New Jersey State AFL-CIO; Elizabeth Coulter, Director of Public Health, Planned Parenthood Action Fund of New Jersey; Sonia Delgado, Partner, Princeton Public Affairs Group; Dr. Lesly Devereaux, Chief Operating Officer, Devereaux Diversity Group; Rosa Farias, Deputy Executive Director, Casino Reinvestment Development Authority; Jeannine LaRue, Senior Vice President, Kaufman Zita Group; Sabeen Masih, Vice President of Public Affairs, Capital Impact Group; Debbie Parks, International Vice President, AFSCME; Crystal Pruitt, Franklin Township Council; Lisa Randall, Commissioner, Bergen County Improvement Authority; Julie Roginsky, Co-Founder, Lift Our Voices; Christine Shipley, Executive Director, New Jersey Senate Minority Office; and Patricia Teffenhart, Executive Director, New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NJCASA).

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