A Letter From the Panel

  Panel Members:  State Senator Melinda Bush, State Representative Carol Ammons, Illinois Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza, 

Panel Members: State Senator Melinda Bush, State Representative Carol Ammons, Illinois Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza, 

Over the past year, women in Illinois politics have courageously shared their experiences of sexual harassment in the workplace, inspiring others to also come forward and share their truth. Behavior that once was business as usual in Illinois politics will no longer be tolerated. We can and must do better.

As co-founders of the Anti-Harassment, Equality, and Access Panel, we are working together to develop a comprehensive set of guidelines that can be adopted by any campaign in any political party, so women can work in safe and supportive working environments where they can thrive. However, developing guidelines is only one part of the work. To ensure lasting and effective change, more women must be given a seat at the table. We will facilitate conversations on how parties and campaigns can support the professional development of women and elevate them into positions of leadership throughout Illinois.

The most important piece of this endeavor is you. We want to hear from women working in the field—past and present—about how to make the system better. We will be holding listening sessions in every region of the state to engage women on these issues. We have also created a feedback form so that if you cannot attend a listening session, or prefer to share your story with us anonymously, you can still share your thoughts with us.

This year, our state made history by voting to become the 37th state in the nation to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment and guarantee women equal rights under the law. Now, it's time to end the pervasive culture of sexual harassment in Illinois politics and create a supportive environment where women can thrive and succeed in the workplace.

Sincerely,

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