Hello Friends and Neighbors,
I wanted to send out an email today in response to the recent news of sexual harassment incidents that have taken place at the Capitol. As your State Representative, I want members of our community to hear directly from me about this important issue.
First of all, I am appalled by what I have read and heard. The allegations of sexual harassment are disturbing and downright disrespectful. There is never an excuse or justification for these behaviors. I am sad for the women who have experienced this intimidation and harassment.
I want you to know what my experience has been like. During my tenure and throughout my campaign, I have not experienced intimidation by others or been harassed. Nor have I witnessed or heard any inappropriate comments, sexual innuendo, or advances. As I have said in many conversations with constituents, I work with professionals: smart, hard-working, earnest people who are dedicated to making Minnesota a better place and representing their communities with integrity and pride. As a freshman legislator, I have been treated with mutual respect by all of my colleagues, and I’ve received genuine support and counsel that helped me to “learn the ropes” and navigate my first year in the legislature. I share this, because this may be counter to your interpretation from the media coverage you’ve been seeing.
With that being said, I commend the women who have the courage to come forward because they have experienced sexual harassment. We must support them by taking their claims seriously and begin an immediate investigation. Politicizing this issue diminishes incidents of harassment and make it harder for us all to enact real change for women everywhere and in every workplace.
As for the current reports, I support House Speaker Daudt’s swift and decisive action using the due process procedures we have in place. If these allegations prove true, it is my opinion that the members must resign. Thereafter, I think both the Senate and the House need to review their policies in regards to sexual harassment and present clear and significant penalties for any proven violations. There can be no wavering in our position that these actions are wrong. We are better than this. You, my constituents, and the people of Minnesota, deserve better.
If you have questions about this issue, please feel free to call or email my office.