PA Chapter of the National Organization for Women is amending its endorsement process to ensure that the organization is only supporting candidates who speak out not only against sexual harassment and assault in general, but against known elected perpetrators as well.
A press release from the organization noted candidates at the local and state level will be asked their stances on combating sexual harassment and assault in the workplace and making improvements to the criminal justice system to better support victims and survivors.
A spokesperson for organization noted candidates will be asked whether or not they have publicly spoken out against elected officials who have been found guilty of sexual harassment, misconduct, and/or assault following due process.
Additionally, the organization noted it will be asking candidates to sign a petition calling for the resignation of the following elected officials: Senator Daylin Leach, (a long-time LGBT advocate) Representative Nicholas Miccarelli, and Sheriff Jewel Williams.
"Candidates who are not willing to sign on, no matter the reason, will not be considered for endorsement ...," noted Nina Ahmad in the press release. "Audits and investigations have found evidence against all three of these elected officials indicating a serious, longstanding pattern of harassment and abuse toward women. The fact that they still continue to serve and collect a paycheck from taxpayers shows that they think they are beyond reproach. We will prove them wrong."
Ahmad added, "it is imperative that the organization look past personal relationships, political ties and powers, and fear of party reprisal in order to truly overcome the toxic rape culture that is our society today. Never should a position of power, elected or not, keep a victim of sexual harassment or assault from justice. Never should a position of power enable an individual to continuously perpetrate acts of sexual harassment and violence."