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*** UPDATED x1 *** AG candidate questionnaire: Sexual harassment policies and training

Wednesday, Feb 28, 2018

* I sent these two questions to all attorney general candidates in both parties. Their deadline was noon today. The answers have been slightly edited to avoid repeating these questions…

1) Does your campaign have a written sexual harassment policy? (If so, please send. If not, please explain why.)

2) Has your campaign conducted any sexual harassment training sessions? (If so, please include dates. If not, please explain why.)

The IDCCA sexual harassment policy referenced by some Democratic candidates is here.

* Here are the answers in the order they were received. Nancy Rotering…

“Every organization is a product of its leadership. Culture is set at the top. In my city government, we have a clear zero tolerance policy towards sexual harassment. Every City employee is required to sign an acknowledgment form confirming receipt and understanding of the policy. In addition, the City mandates sexual harassment sensitivity training for all City employees.

Sexual harassment has no place in government, political campaigns, or frankly, anywhere. I have signed and my campaign has adopted the IL Democratic County Chairs’ Association (ILDCCA) policy.

I deeply understand the call for help. My own experiences in school, working in the car industry, practicing law, and frankly, walking down the street, led me to become an outspoken advocate against sexual harassment. As my campaign has a lean, all-female staff, we have not conducted sexual harassment training sessions.”

* Sen. Kwame Raoul’s campaign…

1) Yes and it has been signed by each member of Raoul for Illinois paid staff. A copy is attached. [Click here.]

2) No; however, Sen. Raoul is in constant communication with his colleagues on the Senate Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Awareness and Prevention Task Force about how we can prevent harassment in every workplace.

I’d also note that Sen. Raoul signed on to the Illinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association (IDCCA) zero-tolerance sexual harassment policy and pledge last week. View his tweet here: https://twitter.com/KwameRaoul/status/965760862056337408 and learn more about the pledge here: http://ildcca.org/2018/02/sexual-harassment-policy-and-pledge/

* Gov. Pat Quinn…

1) Yes. We have adopted the policy of the Illinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association and the suggested policy for private employers that was developed by the Illinois Department of Human Rights. They are attached.

2) The sessions are ongoing. Staff, contractors and frequent volunteers have been asked to complete an online training course from Compliance Training Group and to certify to the campaign that they have done so. The campaign is paying for this service. Volunteers who work limited hours are given training materials that include information about our strict policy against sexual harassment.

* Gary Grasso…

1) Citizens for Gary Grasso is committed to a safe workplace environment with a zero tolerance policy for any form of sexual harassment. The campaign will investigate any allegations of sexual harassment immediately and if any staff member is found to have sexually harassed another will be dismissed immediately. All complaints of sexual harassment will be taken seriously and treated timely with respect and in confidence.

2) This policy was reviewed in December with staff at 1st meeting.

* Rep. Scott Drury…

1) Yes. Attached. [Click here.]

2) Friends of Scott Drury does not tolerate harassment or other misconduct. Friends of Scott Drury is in the process of finding a reputable entity that can provide meaningful training to its organization.

* Erika Harold…

1) The Citizens for Erika Harold campaign has a zero-tolerance policy [Click here] for any sexual or racial harassment. This policy applies to every employee of and/or agent working with the campaign. Any person deemed to have engaged in sexual or racial harassment will immediately be removed from his or her role with the campaign.

Every employee or agent of the campaign is clearly notified of the campaign’s position on sexual and racial harassment upon engagement with the campaign.

As a victim of severe racial and sexual harassment, Erika Harold takes these issues very seriously and ensures everyone associated with her campaign is aware of her strong, zero-tolerance position on these issues. Erika has a long history of personally championing the exposure of sexual and racial harassment and received a leadership award from the National Center for Victims of Crime for her national anti-bullying campaign.

I followed up to ask about training sessions. They only have one full-time official staffer, so no trainings have been held.

* Renato Mariotti…

* 1) We have a small staff, and Renato met individually with each staff member when they were hired. He informed everyone that if there was ever any inappropriate behavior by a staff member, they could come to him directly, and he would address it. We have formalized this policy using the Illinois Democratic Campaign Sexual Harassment Policy as a guideline.

2) We have not had any formal training sessions re: sexual harassment — Renato has made his stance on workplace harassment clear during the entry meetings as well as during the course of the campaign. We will not stand for inappropriate behavior from anyone on the campaign.

Democrats Jesse Ruiz, Sharon Fairley and Aaron Goldstein did not respond.

The gubernatorial campaign responses will be posted in a bit.

*** UPDATE *** The Jesse Ruiz campaign responded yesterday and I just didn’t see it. Here it is…

1) Yes. As a matter of fact, our campaign was one of the first to sign the IDCCA policy and pledge stating that our campaign will be sexual harassment free. The pledge has been shared with our campaign staff, consultants, volunteers, and interns.

We pledge:

    - To not tolerate, condone, or ignore sexual harassment of any kind from anyone.
    - To take action to prevent sexual harassment and create an inclusive and welcoming environment for all staff, consultants, volunteers, and interns.
    - To take all reports of sexual harassment seriously.
    - To ensure that all staff, volunteers, consultants and interns are aware of how sexual harassment should be reported and investigated.
    - To educate ourselves and others about sexual harassment.

2) Other than sharing and prominently displaying the above mentioned pledge, we have not. However, we would actively participate in a democratic organization sponsored training session that would set the standard statewide for all campaigns providing guidelines and operating procedures regarding sexual harassment that would include reporting, investigation and resolution.

…Adding… Fairley’s response arrived just before 1 o’clock, but here it is…

1) We shared the written ILDCCA policy that Sharon signed with our campaign staff and used that as a guideline for our sexual harassment policy.

2) Yes, all campaign staff have been made aware of the process for reporting and investigation allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

7 Comments
  1. - allknowingmasterofracoondom - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 1:13 pm:

    “As my campaign has a lean, all-female staff, we have not conducted sexual harassment training sessions.”

    In other words, we don’t think women can sexually harass anyone. It is a male problem.

    Fixed it for her.


  2. - Bigtwich - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 1:49 pm:

    “I followed up to ask about training sessions. “They only have one full-time official staffer, so no trainings have been held.”

    Ok, that gets a pass as long as they do not have part time staff or volunteers.


  3. - Responsa - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 1:59 pm:

    Rotering made a very bad error with that flip “all female” reply.


  4. - virgo - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 2:36 pm:

    “As my campaign has a lean, all-female staff, we have not conducted sexual harassment training sessions.”

    Someone should inform Rotering that females sexually harass as well. Her sexist justification for not training her staff is distasteful.


  5. - Anon - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 3:50 pm:

    Someone should inform Rotering that the 21st century woman can do anything, including, unfortunately, sexually harass another woman. This serves as further proof she and her staff need the training and absolutely disqualifies her in my opinion.


  6. - Anon - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 5:01 pm:

    Anon @ 3:50 -

    Agree. The wording is offensive, especially for someone that’s trying to be the woman candidate of choice.


  7. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 8:53 pm:

    ==This policy was reviewed in December with staff at 1st meeting.==

    Gray Grasso should get some sort of nod for addressing this in December, before questions arose about campaign staff. I wonder why all the folks did not think of this and signed on to the IDCCA statement last week. Sexual harassment training is not exactly a new thing; it’s pretty standard in business and government and it’s not like it hasn’t been a media story.


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