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House Democratic Women’s Caucus releases statement

Tuesday, Feb 13, 2018

* 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.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Shytown - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 2:11 pm:

    So…no mention of the bomb that just got dropped today? Just a generalized statement about the state of MeToo and sexual harassment? Wow. This speaks volumes and not in a good way.

  2. - Amalia - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 2:12 pm:

    weak. not proud of you, ladies.

  3. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 2:21 pm:

    Who are the executive team members of this caucus?

  4. - LuckyCharms - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 2:23 pm:

    BTW this caucus was just annoucned today but got drown out in the hubbub

  5. - stafferturnedlobster - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 2:34 pm:

    This caucus is a welcome addition to the StateHouse. Not only is this group of women legislators looking at impacting state laws; but they are also exploring ways to empower other women in the Capitol including a mentoring program. I am looking forward to many good things coming from this group of thoughtful women!

  6. - StafferturnedLobster - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 2:39 pm:

    This Caucus is a very welcome addition to the Statehouse. Not only will this caucus work on having an impact on legislative issues; but will also focus on empowering other women in the political/ legislative field including a mentoring program that is desperately needed.

    I applaud the thoughtful group of women legislators who have organized this caucus and look forward to the many good things they will do in the State of Illinois.

  7. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 2:50 pm:

    I really really appreciate this statement. I especially appreciate the broad scope of issues that effect women in our state.

    As a caseworker I just helped a woman regain her SNAP and Medicaid. She had turned in her redetermination on time. Our new system stick her in a hole and didn’t que it up for processing correctly. (Good job Deloitte). She was panicked to get her medical back on line.
    As I was processing the Rede I noticed what she had written on her app under the housing question
    ” I live in a camper on my landlords property”
    Under the utilities paid for question
    ” I don’t have heat or hot water”

    Sometimes stuff like this stops me dead in my tracks.
    So yes Dem women’s caucus, you’re correct
    “Far too many are still struggling”

    FYI : Med is back on and food stamps go on Thursday.
    But folks
    Don’t think that
    Things are getting better
    Thanks for the reminder
    Dem women’s caucus

  8. - E Pluribus Unum - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 2:56 pm:

    Women will bring down the male-white Chicago Machine. Madigan. Burke. D’Amico. Lipinski, and more who through their white male privilege were handed their jobs. This will be a very good thing for democracy and a great thing for women and the men who support the cause of equality.

  9. - City Zen - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 3:02 pm:

    “…whether in a campaign office or on a factory floor or in a restaurant kitchen.”

    Not a glowing review of the actual positions women hold. How about a boardroom? Law firm? Armed Forces? Nope…just jump from politics to two low level labor jobs.

  10. - TKMH - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 3:11 pm:

    ==Women will bring down the male-white Chicago Machine. Madigan. Burke. D’Amico. Lipinski, and more who through their white male privilege were handed their jobs. This will be a very good thing for democracy and a great thing for women and the men who support the cause of equality.==

    I totally agree, but have to snark on one point: Where do Joe and Maria Berrios fit within the scheme of that racial-gender paradigm? A white guy defeated one in 2014, and another is poised to the same next month.

  11. - DuPage Saint - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 3:23 pm:

    Here goes nothing. How about a definition of sexual harassment . Do we need a legal definition? Is it some awkward unwanted pass? Office policies should be strict and have consequences but every time I hear sexual harassment I think sexual abuse and is a large difference. People in authority who take advantage of their power create sexual abuse a crime people who cannot take a clue and have no power over you or your job may be harassing but are not criminal

  12. - Because I said so.... - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 4:03 pm:

    “Not quite sure of the point of this”
    This is the point, “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.”

    I applaud the formation of this caucus and this statement.

  13. - Obamas Puppy - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 4:35 pm:

    This is long overdue great to see such a talented group of legislators team up to face the tough issues.

  14. - Been There - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 5:00 pm:

    There are a lot of issues they can be effective om if they can be in agreement. Obviously there will be many when they won’t be. But sometimes there are bills that look like they are on their way to sailing through the chambers when all of a sudden a caucus will demand something important to them be included. Works great if they can hold everyone together and sometimes that is the only way the issue gets on the table.

  15. - ANON - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 5:56 pm:

    I think the formation of a Women’s Caucus is long overdue and the statement demonstrates the tough issues that need to be addressed. I commend these women for having the courage to take on these issues while providing a very necessary outlet to help empower and mentor other women.

  16. - Jaxon - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 8:21 pm:

    I think it is a great idea for first and foremost to deter the abuse that has to stop. Secondly the female vote will avoid events like what happened in 2016 . An awakening will avert the “ mad men” mentality that starts from the POTUS.

  17. - Disappointed - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 8:24 pm:

    I was expecting a straight forward statement condemming those individual who had committed the sexual harassment, and support for the young lady who had the courage to come forward knowing she may never work in politics again.
    Instead, they concentrate on the budget. It was a lame attempt push their agenda. Instead, they left me with a lack of respect for their group.

  18. - JB13 - Wednesday, Feb 14, 18 @ 10:41 am:

    Translation: Leave the Speaker alone. Get back to what’s *really* important - winning elections and consolidating power.

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