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Women in California politics describe culture of harassment

Andrew Nixon/Capital Public Radio
The California State Capitol on September 12, 2017.

From Capital Public Radio: An outcry against pervasive sexual harassment and assault that has gone viral on social media under the hashtag #metoo has also reached the California state Capitol. 

More than 150 women who work in state politics have signed on to a letter published Tuesday by the Los Angeles Times. The letter describes a culture of harassment and belittlement by powerful men, none named.

But the signatories include prominent lobbyists, lawmakers and staff. Democratic Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia is among them.

"Two weeks into me being an Assemblywoman, I got groped, and then I was told by a senior member not to say anything," Garcia said.

Garcia describes a similar dynamic in Sacramento as what’s emerged in Hollywood, where women worried allegations against Harvey Weinstein would jeopardize their careers.

"When these people have so much power and you’re so dependent on it, you feel like it’s the cost of doing business here and that’s what I have to put up with," Garcia said.

The authors of the letter have also set up a website——where they plan to publish anonymous stories from the Capitol.