State Lawmakers Hope to Take #MeToo from Hashtag to Policy

Several state representatives took to the internet in an effort to move the #MeToo hashtag from an online campaign to real life policy changes.

Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter and Rep Daneya Esgar, along with several other state representatives*, coauthored a piece in Time's Motto in an effort to turn the #MeToo campaign into real life policy.

The crux of their message:

We see it. We live it. We power through it. Every day. And we are saying enough. That’s why we have spoken out, sponsored legislation and demanded change. We need change in our state houses, in our schools and on our campuses, on our streets, and in our workplaces. And big change starts with the states.

The women address several issues and how they might be handled at the state level:

The piece notes that women make up a mere 24.8 percent of state legislatures but over 20,000 women have considered running for office after the 2016 elections, and they exhort all of us to take action:

You can join us, too. The onus to fix this immense problem isn’t on the victims. Bystanders who witness sexual harassment can also help create a culture of accountability for perpetrators. Call your state legislators, reach out to your state sexual assault coalition, be a part of a culture that holds offenders accountable, discover resources for help if you’ve suffered from harassment and you, too, can help make #MeToo more than a hashtag.

*The full list of coauthors: Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, South Carolina; Rep. Daneya Esgar, Colorado; Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, California; Sen. Sara Gelser, Oregon; Rep. Renitta Shannon, Georgia; Rep. Teresa Tanzi, Rhode Island; and Rep. Litesa Wallace, Illinois.