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Women In Calif. Politics Share What They'd Like To See Change

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Women in California politics, protesting sexual harassment and abuse at the Capitol, distrust the response from legislative leaders. They'd like to see some change.

The state Senate leader has hired an outside law firm to investigate claims of widespread harassment, and a consulting firm to recommend safeguards. The Assembly will hold public hearings on the matter starting late next month. But those responses to now hundreds of women speaking out may have missed something.

Capital Public Radio asked Lobbyist Adama Iwu if they were consulted on either of these proposals before they were announced. They weren't.

Iwu is leading the We Said Enough campaign.

"Frankly, the Legislature is not in any way, shape or form beholden to do that with us, but it would have been nice," says Iwu.

Iwu also says lawmakers should be collaborative, rather than unilaterally proposing solutions to a culture of harassment that’s long-existed under them.

"It’s really the same kind of employer-oriented, secret approach that the Legislature has used the whole time," says Iwu.

Assembly rules chair Ken Cooley says the point of the hearings is to craft something collaborative.

"I actually don’t feel like we were saying, ‘We’re going to hold a hearing and you can download an agenda here’. I think we’re saying we’re going to reexamine what we do and we’re going to be listening," says Cooley.

A spokesman for the Senate leader has also pledged transparency as that chamber’s investigations progress.

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