More than 150 lawmakers, lobbyists, and other women who work in the state legislature have signed on to a letter calling on leaders in Olympia to "change the culture from one which silently supports and perpetuates harassment to one which supports and preserves safety."
As first reported by the Associated Press's Rachel La Corte, the letter has been signed by both Republican and Democratic state lawmakers. The letter is also signed by labor leaders like the King County Labor Council's Nicole Grant and UFCW's Sarah Cherin, Washington State Democratic Party Chair Tina Podlodowski, Seattle School Board candidate Eden Mack, Seattle City Council candidate Teresa Mosqueda, and Danni Askini, director of the Gender Justice League, a Seattle-based trans rights organization.
Last week, female staffers, lawmakers, and lobbyists described sexual harassment and assault they had experienced working at the capitol. Soon after, the AP reported that three women had accused a former Democratic state representative of harassment and assault. The News Tribune reported that another former Democratic state representative had resigned in 2011 after unspecified sexual misconduct.
"As women serving and working in the legislative and political realm, we add our voices to the chorus of 'enough,'" today's letter reads. "We stand together to change a culture that, until now, has too often functioned to serve and support harassers' power and privilege over protection of those who work with them."
The letter calls for a culture change, education on sexual harassment and an improved process for reporting harassment or assault.