State Rep. Tackles Sexual Harassment With Roundtable
Rep. Erin May-Quade Holds Roundtable at Building For Women
Duluth, Minn.- Local businesses and nonprofits sat with local leaders today to discuss the issues of sexual violence and harassment.
Seven members of different businesses and nonprofits met with State Representative and DFL candidate for Lieutenant Governor Erin Maye-Quade at Duluth’s Building for Women to discuss how they’re combating sexual harassment and sexual violence.
Organizations represented included the PAVSA and the Red Herring, among others. All shared their policies for handling sexual harassment, thoughts on the status of the #MeToo movement, and how they’d like Minnesota lawmakers to act.
The general consensus seemed to focus on the lack of education in the workplace and even political environments. Sarah Curtis, the program director for Men as Peacemakers, employed an analogy which stuck with the Representative.
“The Blue Green Algae, right? You can clean it off the lakes but it’s caused from a bacteria, so unless you address the bacteria, it’ll just keep coming back,” said Rep. Quade. “And I think that was a great analogy for when we’re talking about this kind of harassment and sexual violence.”
Representative of the 7th district Liz Olson was also present, sharing her observations from the house. She said that they had formal sexual harassment training earlier this year.
Rep. Quade, along with other female lawmakers, had criticized that training session. “We shouldn’t have to go to work and tell every single person, ‘Do not flirt with me.’ And that’s how it felt,” Quade told the Twin Cities Pioneer Press.
Rep. Olson said that while the training fell short, it was a start.
After she came out with her own story, Rep. Quade said that she has heard from Minnesotans from across the state. So she wants to make sure the conversation isn’t swept under the rug. Hence, this won’t be the last time a discussion like this is held.