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Steinberg Says He Didn't Witness Sexual Harassment As State Lawmaker

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio
 

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

As more information emerges from allegations of pervasive sexual harassment at the California State Capitol, the former head of the State Senate says he was surprised.

"I didn't witness it myself," says Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, who spent 16 years in the state Senate and Assembly, "but, there was extensive training and certainly the culture of the Capitol emphasizes consistently that sexual harassment of any kind is unacceptable and inappropriate and yet the letter evidences that it still goes on."

Last week, 150 women reacted to the sexual assault and harassment scandal involving Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein by issuing an open letter alleging widespread sexual harassment at the Capitol.

"As much progress as we have made, there is still more work to do," Steinberg says. "The letter was very disheartening to me to know that power is still used in ways that subject women especially to that kind of behavior and that kind of treatment."

Steinberg, who was the Senate President Pro Tem from 2008 to 2014, says the letter is proof more must be done to prevent women from becoming victims in the workplace.

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