For Immediate Release:
“NOW Calls for Senator Leach and Representative Caltagirone to Step Down”
The Philadelphia Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) is calling for both Senator Daylin Leach and Representative Thomas Caltagirone to step down from their elected positions immediately. The fact that both elected officials continue to work and be paid by the citizens of Pennsylvania while these allegations remain unresolved is both unacceptable and sickening. Why have no actions been taken? Why is nothing being done? Weeks have passed and these public servants are still reporting to their elected positions advocating for the people of this state – for the women of this state – for the populations of people they are not fit to serve.
If these perpetrators of sexual harassment and misconduct are hoping that their inappropriate behaviors and lack of remorse will be hidden under the holiday season, they are incredibly wrong. Removing these two men and their legacies of abusing the power their elected positions bestowed upon them will be an incredibly fitting start to the New Year 2018 – the New Year of the Woman.
Senator Leach, there is a distinct difference between being a champion on paper for women and being a true ally to women, and your behaviors have exposed your career and leadership on important policy issues to be fraudulent and not in accordance to your actual negative biases and disgusting behaviors towards women. We are incredibly thankful to the women that bravely stepped forward and shined a light on your true character that no amount of campaigning and catchy slogans can further disguise.
Representative Caltagirone, your citizens do not pay taxes to pay for your sexual misconduct. We also find it horribly ironic that you “will not engage in victim blaming” when asked for additional information about the claims against you, but you engaged in sexual harassment both verbal and physical that resulted in a quarter million dollar settlement to one of your former employees. Your rehearsed answers sound like a guilty man advised not to further incriminate himself.
Behavior that these representatives committed cannot be tolerated or ignored or minimized to satisfy some political agenda. The Democratic Party must take a zero tolerance stance against sexual misconduct if they hope to succeed in following years. That is the solution – not standing in silence fearful of the criticisms.
Former President of Philadelphia’s NOW chapter and current candidate for the 1st Congressional district, Nina Ahmad has stated: “The revelation that female staffers were afraid to bring on additional female staff is particularly chilling, and an example of how sexual harassment and sexism undermine women economically”.
Representative Leanne Krueger-Braneky echoed this concern: “The conspiracy of silence that protects harassers and abusers in the state Capitol while leaving victims economically and professionally violated and isolated must end, now.”
Senator Leach and Representative Caltagirone, resign immediately. You are not fit for the post.
The National Organization for Women started as a safe space for women to gather and begin to gain some power and equity in both private and public lives. NOW strives to be more welcoming and more stalwart with each day, and at this moment would like to extend an invitation to any women looking for refuge from this predatory and degrading behavior. We believe you, we support you, and we are calling for system-wide change.
Grace Palladino, Philadelphia NOW Board email@example.com, 610-715-5799
The National Organization for Women:
The National Organization for Women (NOW) is the largest organization of feminist activists in the United States. NOW has 500,000 contributing members and 550 chapters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Since its founding in 1966, NOW’s goal has been to take action to bring about equality for all women. NOW works to eliminate discrimination and harassment in the workplace, schools, the justice system, and all other sectors of society; secure abortion, birth control and reproductive rights for all women; end all forms of violence against women; eradicate racism, sexism and homophobia; and promote equality and justice in our society.