* I’m not quite sure what the point of this is, but House Democratic men haven’t exactly been filling my in-box with statements today…
The following statement is released from the executive team members of Illinois House Democratic Women’s Caucus:
While the success of our state can be measured in many ways, it’s time to acknowledge that the true condition of Illinois – its strengths and weaknesses – can only be fully evaluated by examining how our institutions and policies affect the state of the women and families who call it home.
Serious allegations of sexual harassment are being made weekly. As courageous voices get louder, our resolve to do better for women must be stronger. We believe a strong woman can stand up for herself, but the strongest women stand up for each other.
Every single allegation must be taken seriously and investigated appropriately. Sexual harassment cannot be tolerated – whether in a campaign office or on a factory floor or in a restaurant kitchen.
The #metoo movement speaks to the state of women in Illinois but does not describe it completely. Women are also disproportionately affected whenever state government fails to meet its obligation to produce a comprehensive, responsible budget. So are the Illinoisans in their care: children, the elderly and persons with disabilities.
As we gather for another budget address, we cannot allow the lasting effects of the budget impasse to be forgotten or its lessons to go unlearned. Far too many Illinois women are still struggling to recover from the loss of child care, social services, health care and assistance to survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.
Advancing needed changes to sexual harassment policies and investigative procedures is just a part of the important work that must be done for women throughout this state. We must also recognize and seek remedies for women who are impacted when the state fails to produce a responsible budget.
The Illinois House Democratic Women’s Caucus is being launched to address these issues. As we do, we invite all state leaders, caucuses and sectors to join us in the effort to ensure that more women are in positions of power and positioned to lead change for the state of women in Illinois.