Coalition of Constituent Groups Condemn Senator Klein’s Alleged Sexual Misconduct

Coalition of Constituent Groups Condemn Senator Klein’s Alleged Sexual Misconduct

Bronx, NY – A coalition of grassroots groups joined forces Friday evening outside of Senator Klein’s Morris Park office to denounce both his alleged sexual misconduct as well as his personal attacks maligning Erica Valimir. Gathering outside of Senator Klein’s Morris Park office, activists called on him to be removed from all leadership positions immediately.

Speakers included representatives from: Bronx Progressives, NYCD16 Indivisible, Progressive Women of Pelham, Bronx Women’s Huddle, and the Lower Hudson Valley Progressive Action Network (LHVPAN).

Liz Manning of NYCD16 Indivisible said:

“The IDC Action Group of NYCD16 Indivisible denounces Jeff Klein and the IDC’s rush to attack former staffer Erica Vladimer. We reject Klein’s preposterous assertion that the defense prepared by his attorneys based on interviews with his staff qualifies as “an investigation” of Ms. Vladimer’s account of her experience of sexual assault at the hands of the senator.

This past year, the IDC Action Group has gotten to know our State Senator, Jeff Klein, quite well. We’ve learned that he is willing to lie about our group, claiming we are agitators from outside District 34, and that we are a “phony grassroots effort.” We’ve learned that the Senator has no hesitation to threaten the livelihoods of members of our group, to attempt to convince the NYPD to stop our lawful free speech activities, and freely mimics Trump’s crudeness by dropping an “F-bomb” on one member of our group who asked him politely to stop empowering pro-Trump Republicans in Albany. These experiences and many more inform us as we decide whom to believe.

We strongly support Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins’ call for a thorough independent investigation of Erica Vladimer’s credible accusations (and any others that may arise), and call upon Jeff Klein and his supporters to stop the public shaming of a courageous woman.”

Dominique Shuminova of Progressive Women of Pelham said:

“The governor and NYS Legislature are responsible for crafting new guidelines for sexual misconduct statewide. It must be made clear that sexual harassment, assault, and inappropriate workplace behavior are not acceptable. Senator Klein should not have a role in negotiating these changes until this matter has been independently investigated outside of the Senate.

How can we expect our government to stand up for the women of New York if this is what they deep an appropriate response? The women of New York deserve better than this.

Now is the time for a woman to lead the NYS Senate for the first time in its history – so that legislation such as the Reproductive Health Act and Comprehensive Coverage Act might finally make their way to the Senate floor for a vote.

Tasha Young of Lower Hudson Valley Progressive Action Network (LHVPAN) said:

“Democratic Majority Leader Senator Andrea Stewart cousins has introduced a comprehensive package of legislation that will combat sexual harassment practices in government and establish a division at the NYS Human rights commission to address sexual harassment cases. New Yorkers must know that these bills will not be ignored or dismissed. We simply have no confidence that turncoat Senator Klein, who is accused of sexual harassment, will support stronger comprehensive sexual assault legislation.”

Samelys Lopez of Bronx Progressives said:

For women to feel empowered enough to come forward to report abuses of power in all facets of our lives, it starts with the creation of safe spaces in our halls of government. We need to demand that institutional measures be put in place that will take our concerns seriously in order to protect ourselves and our loved ones from being silenced. As the Me Too national movement has shown, silence is no longer an option.

The ethics investigation Senator Liz Kruger proposed is an important step in the right direction. Unfortunately, Senator Klein and his Republican colleagues are stating that an investigation is not warranted. I demand that Governor Cuomo call an independent ethics investigation NOW. If Senator Klein and his Republican colleagues are going to stand in the way of progress and a fair investigation, Senator Klein needs to step down from his leadership position with the Independent Democratic Conference so that Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stuart Cousins can be the Democratic Senate Leader New York State needs and deserves.

Senator Diane Savino, a member of the IDC, issued the following statement in response to the rally:

“The organizer of the rally, True Blue NY, was literally founded to end the IDC so it’s pretty clear that calls for resignation have more to do with politics than anything else.”

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