Women Look to the Future as Sacramento Sexual Harassment Scandal Continues

2 min
The state Capitol in Sacramento. (Wikimedia Commons)

California’s Capitol continues to be ensnared in a sexual harassment scandal.

This week saw fresh accusations against Democratic state Sen. Tony Mendoza.

But even as complaints continue to emerge and evolve, the women who started the We Said Enough campaign are starting to focus on the future.

Campaign organizer Samantha Corbin worries people will become desensitized as more alleged harassers are named. That’s why she says the group is beginning to work on developing tangible policy solutions.

"How do we improve and evolve as not only a political community," she says, "but a national community, so that we’re not simply, constantly reliving and watching this sideshow of trauma.”

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Corbin says there are actions the Legislature could take immediately, such as setting up an anonymous hotline for victims to call and providing counseling.

The state Senate says it will now outsource its sexual harassment investigations, which Corbin says is a step in the right direction. But she has some reservations.

"Whoever the Senate hires is, of course, still hired by the Senate and therefore not an independent body but really an extension of them," she says. "So it’s again a step in terms of an immediate improvement. But from the perspective of a long-term solution, I think it still leaves a lot to be desired."

The Assembly will hold hearings on its sexual harassment policies later this month.

Corbin says it’s not yet clear if they will help. But she says any solution has to include both political parties and both houses of the Legislature.

The We Said Enough campaign is doing something, too. It has formed a nonprofit to work toward changing the culture and providing resources for victims.

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