Empowerment
State Reps Create Bill to Make It Easier to Report Sexual Misconduct

These state reps were sexually harassed at their State Capitol—now they've created a bill to help others who've been harassed.

“Last year, I made the decision to come forward about a former colleague that had harassed me,” Senator Faith Winter explained. And when I found out he was harassing other women, I knew I had no choice but to tell my story in order to protect them.”

Winter is calling attention to outdated policies for reporting misconduct in the State Capitol. In the past, members of the General Assembly had to file reports to their Senate of House leader, who might be affiliated with an opposing party.

In 2019, Winter spearheaded bill SB19-244, which established an “office of legislative workplace relations.” The bill was approved and gained by Governor Polis in May 2019.

State Representative Susan Lontine co-sponsored the bill. She says she pushed for the bill after a state senator harassed her.

“As I started to think about it, as I started to talk about it with other members and with women I had known who are lobbyists, who’ve been here for years, I realized that we do have a problem,” she said.

Winter and Lontine said many workplaces, including government offices, lack proper workplace protocols.

“I want this building to work for everyone,” Winter said. “And our building only works with people feel comfortable taking part in democracy.”

In partnership with @TimesUpNowOfficial