August 6, 2021 – New York, NY – As leaders of advocacy organizations whose work centers advancing equity for women and girls and who serve on the New York State Council on Women and Girls, we collectively condemn the behavior of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the pattern of sexual harassment outlined in the Attorney General’s investigation. We also express our extreme dismay that the chair of this council, Melissa DeRosa, Secretary to the Governor, was found to be complicit in ongoing efforts to protect the Governor at the expense of survivors.
It is particularly egregious that the Governor continues to not only deny the allegations against him, but write them off as simple misunderstandings at the expense of the women he harmed. This report makes clear that significant cultural change and accountability are imperative.
Our council is tasked with ensuring that policy and programming take into consideration the needs and rights of women and girls in New York State. A key element of that has been to support efforts to strengthen New York State’s sexual harassment laws. We remain committed to this work, and we insist that the council cannot be successful without addressing the culture of toxicity and lack of accountability that has enabled sexual harassment.
The findings of the AG report document that this Governor and his administration have failed women – we demand accountability.
Robin Chappelle Goltston
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