SACRAMENTO — Assembly Speaker Antony Rendon (D-Lakewood) issued the following statement to mark the conclusion of informational hearings and the beginning of the next phase of work by the Joint Committee on Rules Subcommittee on Sexual Harassment Prevention and Response:
“Although the Subcommittee’s work of the last few months has not drawn headlines, it has involved an intense and broad look at useful and innovative approaches to the problem,” Rendon said. “We have to update our policies and procedures, but as far as I’m concerned, the fundamental task is establishing a culture of diversity, respect and civility where sexual harassment has no place.
“I’m looking forward to the Subcommittee holding public discussions of what they’ve learned and seeing the resulting recommendations on how we can accomplish those goals. Special thanks to Assemblymember Laura Friedman and Senator Holly J. Mitchell for leading this journey toward a Capitol work environment where everyone feels safe and protected.”
The Subcommittee has held five hearings, concluding with Wednesday’s hearing on training and culture change.
Among the suggestions offered by advocates and experts in business, government and non-profits:
- More and earlier reporting, including smartphone applications for reporting and tracking to enable concerns to be addressed before they become serious incidents.
- Restorative justice approaches that put power in the hands of victims and can lead perpetrators to understand and end unwelcome behaviors.
- Options for ensuring fair, complete and well-understood processes, including for investigations.
The Subcommittee also expects to review a climate survey of legislative employees that will provide input for possible changes and a snapshot to assist the Legislature in gauging its future progress.
Following the informational hearings, the Subcommittee is expected to turn to crafting approaches to transparency, victim security, establishing consequences for perpetrators, and ensuring representation for constituents of any officials accused of wrongdoing.
Website of Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon: https://speaker.asmdc.org/