Illinois Democratic Women applauds the efforts of the Illinois Anti-Harassment, Equality & Access Panel to provide a roadmap for all political parties and campaigns to address all types of harassment in the workplace. We are also grateful for their efforts to highlight the necessity of more women running for office in Illinois so that all our systems of government are equally represented by women and men.
By listening to women across this state tell their stories of discrimination and harassment in the political workplace, State Comptroller Susana Mendoza, State Senator Melinda Bush and State Representative Carol Ammons have created a report that leads the way to identifying necessary reforms that will mean more women have a seat at the table in making meaningful decisions that affect us all primarily by electing more women to office in Illinois and promoting more women to leadership positions.
The AHEA report asks that all parties –
- Commit to a concrete goal of women filling 50% of the seats in Illinois’ General Assembly
- Hire a manager-level Director of Diversity in the state parties to recruit more diverse candidates to run for elected office and for top-level staff positions
- Invest party money in training women, developing their talent and supporting their races and promoting women into leadership positions in campaigns and political organizations
- Require diversity in the pool of applicants or candidates considered for every political vacancy and leadership position (including people of color, LGBTQ, and people with disabilities)
- Establish an Advisory Board to oversee these changes
Illinois Democratic Women stands ready to be a partner in these efforts and looks forward to the dialogue that this ground-breaking report will create as we look towards a future where women hold an equal number of political positions as men and the diversity of our leadership reflects all our communities.
Jennifer Camille Lee and Kim Savage
Illinois Democratic Women