It happens here, too. N.J. city takes a stand against sexual harassment
In a momentous vote for New Jersey’s largest city — and a nod to women everywhere — the Newark City Council on Tuesday approved adding further protections to public workers who are victims of sexual harassment.
The legislation, spearheaded by Central Ward Councilwoman Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins, prohibits sexual harassment of city employees by other municipal workers, management, union representatives, volunteers or vendors for the city.
It also creates an independent task force to investigate claims brought by Newark employees. The five-member panel will be appointed by the mayor and include a retired law enforcement officer who did not work in Newark, a clergy member, two members of the public who do not work for the city or its semi-autonomous agencies, and a member nominated by Rutgers University.
“For anyone to say that this ordinance is coming forward because it’s political season, that’s a lie,” said Chaneyfield Jenkins, who is challenging Mayor Ras Baraka for his seat in May’s elections. “This is not a political ploy, this is not a political gimmick, this is a convergence of history and time.”
The #metoo movement has swept the country, with women coming forward revealing the men who have sexually abused and harassed them. It has taken Hollywood by storm and toppled lawmakers as well as leaders of prominent companies across the country. And now it’s come to Newark.