To the Editor:
Recent reporting from the Star Ledger (#MeToo Was Supposed to Fix Things) offers detailed accounts of political and government settings where women suffer sexual harassment and assaults in silence for fear of political and professional retribution. Nobody should be fearful of harassment, assault or retribution most especially when working in the governmental setting. Local government must call out this unacceptable behavior and subject it to consequences. Anyone suffering such behavior must have meaningful access to help and support.
We at the League of Municipalities cannot allow this moment to pass without recognizing this problem and responding with a sustained effort to identify where problems exist and exploring remedies we, along with our partners, can bring to the issue.
To start our effort, the League of Municipalities (NJLM), representing New Jersey’s local governments, is engaging with the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault along with state agencies and legislators to develop a clear understanding of where we can be most impactful. Invitations have gone out to local government groups to join us. Local government can be a vocal witness to help spread the word and to call out those who engage in unacceptable behavior.
James J. Perry Sr., NJLM President, Committeeman, Hardwick
Janice Kovach, NJLM 1st Vice President, Mayor, Clinton Town
William Chegwidden, NJLM 2nd Vice President, Mayor, Wharton
Sue Howard, NJLM 3rd Vice President, Mayor, Monmouth Beach