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From City Hall to Capitol Hill, women have always played a pivotal role in the advancement of our society. In the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election and movements such as #MeToo and #TimesUp, millions of women from diverse backgrounds have been galvanized into action. As an advocate for women’s rights and gender equality, I am proud to see our youth at the forefront of our collective efforts to change social norms for today’s and tomorrow’s generation.

I want to thank Speaker Corey Johnson and Women’s Committee Chair Helen Rosenthal for tackling sexual harassment on the heels of the millions of survivors who dared to speak up and speak out, sharing their stories of sexual harassment and sexual assault. Their voices resonated through the #MeToo and #TimesUp Movements, which struck a chord in all of us. Stop the Sexual Harassment in NYC Act marks only the beginning of our efforts to ‘strengthen anti-sexual harassment training and expand sexual harassment protections to all employees.’

As an advocate for women’s rights and gender equality, I am proud to sponsor and co-sponsor two of the 11 bills within the Stop the Sexual Harassment in NYC Act (download legislative package) that will help transform the culture in workplaces across the City of New York. My bill, Intro 1146, would mandate private employers with 15 or more employees to conduct annual anti-sexual harassment training. We must inform and empower every employee of their rights to raise awareness and ensure accountability. No one should ever feel unsafe, threatened, or alone after being subjected to gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual assault. It is time to break the silence and end the cycle – without remorse or retaliation. It is time to make HERSTORY and end all violence against women.

New York City Council Member and Majority Leader Laurie A. Cumbo represents the 35th District, which covers Bedford-Stuyvesant, Clinton Hill, Crown Heights, Fort Greene and Prospect Heights. She currently serves as a member of the Committees on Cultural Affairs, Finance, Higher Education, Public Housing, and Women’s Issues; co-chairs the Women’s Caucus; is a member of the Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus as well as the Jewish Caucus.