Ahead of her fourth trip to Iowa this week, Senator Gillibrand is proud to announce a new endorsement from Kirsten Anderson, a former Iowa Statehouse staffer who sued the state and won after being sexually harassed on the job.
“Kirsten Anderson is the definition of brave,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Her story is a powerful reminder of the systematic changes that need to be made to protect women in the workplace, on college campuses, and in the military. Kirsten is a tireless advocate on this issue, and I’m so proud to earn her support and have her voice on the campaign trail in Iowa.”
Senator Gillibrand and Kirsten Anderson will host a special endorsement event this Wednesday, April 17th at HoQ in Des Moines at 6:30 p.m. Senator Gillibrand will hold more than 10 public events during her three-day swing through the state this week, April 17-19, 2019.
Read the full story in the Des Moines Register:
How Kirsten Gillibrand, the #MeToo candidate, got Kirsten Anderson’s endorsement in Iowa | Des Moines Register
By Linh Ta
April 15, 2019
During one of her first trips to Iowa, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand sat down and ate lunch with Kirsten Anderson, a former Iowa Senate Republican staffer who made national headlines after filing a sex harassment lawsuit against her work.
Immediately, the two Kirstens hit it off.
“I was inspired by her and her bravery and extraordinary advocacy work,” Gillibrand said in an exclusive interview with the Register. “I think we appreciated each other for standing up in what we believe.”
Now, the two women will speak together on Wednesday in Des Moines after Gillibrand, known as the #MeToo presidential candidate, gained Anderson’s support.
The endorsement marks Gillibrand’s second one in Iowa — the first was from Kyle Paterson — a Jewish transgender woman who serves chair of the Iowa Democratic Party’s Stonewall Caucus, according to Buzzfeed.
Gillibrand’s latest endorsement comes from a victim of one of the state’s most high profile sexual harassment cases in recent years. Not only that, but Anderson formerly worked for Republicans and Gillibrand is a lifelong Democrat.
In 2013, Anderson was fired just seven hours after handing in a memo detailing her concerns about a toxic work environment working as the communications director for Iowa Senate Republicans.
A jury sat through a week-long trial where Anderson and former co-workers testified about a “locker room” environment where women endured, among other things, taunts and quips about their sex lives. An Iowa Senate government oversight analyst who was at the center of the lawsuit often teased women in the office about their sex lives and a called his coworkers “prudes” if they didn’t respond to his taunts.
In one incident, Anderson said he showed her a nude picture of Kim Kardashian on his computer.
The lawsuit resulted in lawmakers reworking and refreshing their policies.
At their lunch, Gillibrand said she and Anderson spoke about their advocacy work. For Gillibrand, that was her work in Congress in creating more accountability with sexual assaults on college campuses, in the military and at the workplace. Since Anderson won $1.75 million from her lawsuit, she’s worked as an advocate to end workplace sexual harassment through education.
Gillibrand said the duo will resonate deeply with Iowa voters. Anderson wasn’t afraid of backing down, even though she faced retaliation from her sexual harassment allegations. Gillibrand said that as president, she would pass bills that may be more controversial, like her support of repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
“Sen. Gillibrand takes on the tough fights that no one else will,” Kirsten Anderson in a statement. “Sen. Gillibrand is a leading voice on taking on sexual harassment, assault and discrimination and will never stop fighting on behalf of survivors. She sees the people behind the problems and works to make their lives better. I’m proud to endorse her and share her brave wins with Iowans.”
Gillibrand and Anderson will speak at HOQ in downtown Des Moines on Wednesday between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. It will coincide with Gillibrand’s three-day trip on the state between April 17-19.