The Democratic Party of New Mexico (DPNM) is moving on its trailblazing sexual harassment prevention program. The DPNM released its policy Friday to proactively prevent sexual harassment and assault by requiring candidates to complete a comprehensive training program with a focus on creating safe work environments and implementing effective reporting guidelines.
New Mexico’s state Democratic Party is one of the first state party organizations to implement a policy of this kind in the country.
The DPNM requested the assistance of the New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs (NMCSAP) to ensure there are clear and specific guidelines to increase the impact on building workplaces where volunteers, canvassers, and staff feel safe and empowered.
The outline of the policy states, “The Democratic Party of New Mexico acknowledges that sexual harassment, assault, and violence is a pervasive issue that plagues both sides of the political spectrum and is far-reaching in society. With community action on this issue, we are focused on proactively preventing sexual harassment and assault, creating an environment where anyone feels safe coming forward and setting the standard to build work environments that are professional and respectful.”
The program announcement is just the first step in setting clear guidelines that seek to set a gold standard of conduct for all New Mexico political campaigns. The Democratic Party of New Mexico is currently developing specific guidelines with the expertise of NMCASP that will be distributed to campaigns early next year.
“Our organization is tackling this issue head-on and we’ve seen an outpouring of requests for information. We are putting our focus on creating substantive changes,” said New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs Executive Director Kim Alaburda. “The Democratic Party of New Mexico has taken an important step to combat sexual violence. As we move forward, we will be developing comprehensive programs that will create a culture of accountability, respect, and dignity in the workplace. We welcome other parties and agencies to follow the Democratic Party of New Mexico’s lead.”
Specifically, the program:
- Requires candidates to complete a sexual harassment prevention training session in its entirety in order to receive support the State Party provides;
- Requires that each campaign have a robust anti-sexual harassment policy that includes independent review and investigation of reported harassment that protects the privacy of the person who experienced harassment, a highly structured disciplinary action plan, anti-retaliation clause, reporting guidelines, canvasser and volunteer safety, and disclosure transparency; and
- Enforces the new policy by limiting resources available through the State Party if requirements are not met, including access to the voter file, data support and training, volunteer-based outreach, public speaking opportunities at State Party Events, press assistance, social media advisement, featured promotion on State Party literature or email program, event access, and administrative support.
The program outline is available here.