Sexual Harassment Becomes Hot Topic In Springfield

(CBS) – Women in Illinois politics are now coming forward with their own personal stories of sexual harassment, in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reports.

“I had a client who was constantly asking me to go out with him and when I rejected him it just got worse,” says Katelynd Duncan.

Duncan, owner of a political fundraising firm, is opening up about sex harassment. She co-wrote and open letter outlining what’s described as a culture of misogyny within the halls of the Statehouse. The letter encourages supporters to sign.

The letter describes what this looks like: “It looks like a male legislator — a chamber leader — asking a female staffer out to dinner under the guise of offering mentorship, then proceeding to explain his ‘open marriage’ to her and ask if she’s single.”

Kady McFadden signed the letter and is also speaking out about harassment in her role as an environmental advocate with the Sierra Club.

“I don’t think my story is particularly unique,” she says. “In fact, I think you are going to be hard-pressed to find a women who has worked in politics who doesn’t have as story or has heard of a story.”

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan says more needs to be done to address sexual harassment in the capital.

“We are going to change the culture and we are going to make it easier for women in this industry to continue to do the work that we’re doing,” Duncan says.

As of Tuesday evening, the open letter had nearly 200 signatures.

Madigan says current sexual harassment policies are under review.

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