“We are advocates for women. Many of us worked specifically on advocating for survivors, some are survivors ourselves, and so we deeply understand how serious and painful this conversation is. Our hearts break for survivors who have been retraumatized by the discussion of assault and abuse permeating the news and social media.
“It is in that context and the understanding of that pain that we urge for a full, impartial accounting of the facts and corroborating evidence. For too long, women who came forward with allegations of sexual assault were ignored, dismissed, or silenced. So let us be clear: we believe women, and we are truly grateful that the default reaction to an allegation has become listening and believing rather than dismissing outright.
“But believing women means accepting the allegation and investigating it thoroughly and objectively – to ensure we can determine the truth and provide justice for all parties. It doesn’t and shouldn’t mean we can’t ask for further information and corroboration. In fact, the seriousness of these allegations and the context of this moment demand it.
“We are not alone in this assessment. One of Scott’s political opponents, Maya Wiley, co-authored an op-ed calling for this exact standard of proof and investigation of accusations against President Biden, whom she went on to support. Like Ms. Wiley, we also believe that accounting for the credibility of the accused is key.
“We are all women who have worked for or known Scott Stringer for decades and can speak to his character and integrity. Throughout his 30 years in public service and often years if not decades ahead of his time, Scott has used his platform to uplift women–in the workplace, in the home, in our economy, in civic life. He has fought for protection and housing for survivors of domestic violence, led the push for the largest investment in child care in the nation, advocated for robust paid family leave, and broken down systemic barriers facing women-owned businesses. As a boss and manager, he has hired, promoted, and centered women in any workplace he has led. Beyond the politician and the policies, as a human and a friend, he has always shown utmost integrity and compassion, in public and in private. He has zero tolerance for any mistreatment of any woman or any person. We have never felt unsafe in any way around him.
“Whether or not you support Scott, another candidate or are politically neutral (like many of us), New Yorkers deserve a more nuanced approach than we are seeing in the current debate. That is what any of us would ask for if we, or one of our children, was accused similarly. The statute of limitations makes a legal investigation impossible, but the public and the voters deserve a full, neutral airing of the facts so they can decide the truth for themselves.”
Alejandra Pollak, Activist and Latinx organizer
Betsy Gotbaum, Former New York City Public Advocate
Carra Wallace, Former Chief Diversity Officer at the Office of the New York City Comptroller
Claire Ullman, Co-Director of Students for Justice Internship Program
Daniele Gerard, Attorney
Dorothy Siegel, Education Advocate and Progressive Leader
Reverend Georgiette Morgan-Thomas
Judith Goldiner, Attorney
Lorna Goodman, Attorney
Rita Schwartz, Community Activist
Rose Pierre-Louis, Former Commissioner of Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence and former Manhattan Deputy Borough President
Ruth Messinger, Former New York City Council Member, former Manhattan Borough President, and first woman nominee for mayor of New York City