Report: Sexual Harassment Policy Recommendations

Women's Caucus, Maryland General Assembly, February 2018, 38 pages

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UPDATE: Regarding the Open Letter To The Press Written by Delegate Kathleen Dumais

Contrary to some reporting, the Open Letter to the Press of 2/27/18 was not intended to be a refutation of the Caucus’ recommendations or the public testimony or anonymous statements from brave victims included in our report. So why did nearly all of our members including myself – sign it? Many of us viewed it as a letter drafted by a senior leader in the legislature highlighting the problems our work has identified, and talking about the important work that needs to happen to fix those significant problems. Unfortunately, some of the very victims we are working to support have communicated to us they feel betrayed by this letter. Others have attempted to use this letter to support the idea of holding off on legislation to address these issues. The Caucus’ ongoing work on sexual harassment focuses on positive change and we are extremely grateful to the many staffers, members, and lobbyists who shared their experiences with us. Our goal has always been to immediately strengthen our current sexual harassment policies through legislation and other policy change. While sexual harassment does not exclusively define the experience of women legislators, we know the statements of the victims reflect a fair picture of the experiences of many people who work in the Maryland General Assembly. To the extent the open letter, unfortunately, appears to contradict this, that was an error. With this in mind, I have asked the author of the letter to remove my name. My top priority is ensuring that the victims who have come forward to support our work know they are - first and foremost - supported and believed.
— Del Ariana Kelly, President of the Women Legislators of Maryland