The below press release was sent to TheLiberalOC yesterday afternoon from Danielle Serbin, the chair of the Orange County Young Democrats and not their publicity chair. From the announcement, Serbin owns the announcement and it appears this was issued by her but with the support of the full board which is her right to do so.
In the announcement, which calls out the “me too” campaign of social media where women who have been sexually harassed or worse let the world know it’s happened to them (and the numbers are staggering), Serbin calls out men who are local OC Democrats and from allied organizations such as the OC Labor Federation and the DPOC and suggests they be outed. Yet she doesn’t out anyone herself.
I sent her an email last night asking for names and have no response. But I agree with her. If there are men in the DPOC, the OC Labor Fed who have harassed women, they need to be outed.
Her announcement is below:
Orange County — October 17, 2017 — In response to individuals speaking out about their experiences being sexually harassed and abused by local political leaders, Orange County Young Democrats Chair Danielle Serbin issued the following statement:
As part of the #metoo campaign on Facebook, several young women have bravely stepped up to alert the public about their experiences being sexually harassed and abused by men in power in Orange County Democratic and allied organizations. Specifically, women are speaking out about men in power at the Democratic Party of Orange County and/or the Orange County Labor Federation who have tried to undress young women in the workplace, sent young women pornographic images and memes, and joked about porn with young interns.
We cannot claim to be the party of women’s rights yet condone such outrageous behavior from our leaders. We cannot call out President Trump as a sexual harasser who “grabs ‘em by the pussy,” yet stand idly by while our leaders engage in the same behavior. We are better than this.
Enough is enough. It is time to call out the harassers, name them and shame them, and remove them from positions of power in our community.
To the victims of sexual assault: we believe you. We are here for you. Please tell your story—either anonymously or publicly. We will work with allies to shield you from retaliation. We understand that you did not speak up in the past out of fear, because these influential men could impact your future professional goals and dreams. There is no doubt that the brave stories coming from the #metoo campaign are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to sexual harassment in OC politics. It is time to expose all harassers in local positions of power.
To the organizations where sexual harassment has occurred: do better. Investigate the accusations. Fire the harassers. Clean house and get rid of a culture that condones and encourages harassment in the workplace. I acknowledge that Orange County Young Democrats itself has, in the past, had leaders who were involved in such harassing behavior, and our organization is taking steps to put systems in place to make sure it never happens again. I call upon other organizations to follow suit.
Here’s a statement from the DPOC:
The Democratic Party of Orange County takes accusations of sexual assault and harassment seriously. We condemn these actions in the strongest possible terms. We fully support the rights of all individuals to work in a safe environment and pledge to take measures to protect our interns, volunteers, Central Committee members and staff from intimidation and threats to their safety and dignity.
“I call on every politically engaged person to stand up against all forms of sexual harassment and to speak up for victims. There is no place for egregious abuse of power by some as we build the Party’s infrastructure for the future,” says Chair Fran Sdao. “The Democratic Party of Orange County must be inclusive, compassionate, and fully committed to protecting the basic civil rights of every individual. This is the strength of our Party’s values and we must do everything possible to ensure that each person is treated with respect, especially the young women and men who are beginning their political careers as our interns and volunteers.”
The Party commits to take the following steps:
We will offer training for members and volunteers and invite allied organizations including all campaign organizations to join us and to support empowerment of victims.
We will reintroduce a code of conduct that will apply to all members of the Central Committee, staff and volunteers working on behalf of the Party.
We will not tolerate inappropriate behavior and, once informed, will take immediate action to investigate accusations and come to an appropriate resolution which may include criminal charges.
We will not be silent and will stand up in support of victims of sexual assault and harassment as well as any harassment based on sexual orientation or gender identity, race, color, national origin or religion.