SANTA FE, NM—Today Rep. Sarah Maestas Barnes (R-Albuquerque) sent a letter to New Mexico House and Senate Leaders urging them to include the topics of physical and verbal harassment in their announced mandatory training and “No Harassment” policy revisions. Maestas Barnes made her request after describing incidents of physical and verbal intimidation she experienced during previous legislative sessions.
“I share my story now because I believe it raises important issues about how matters of harassment are handled in Legislature,” Maestas Barnes wrote. “Since you have announced that you plan to review the Legislature’s No Harassment policy and require sexual harassment training for all legislators, I ask that you make every effort to ensure both the policy and the training are as comprehensive as possible.”
Rep. Rod Montoya (R-Farmington) witnessed one of the events described in the letter sent by Maestas Barnes and supported Maestas Barnes’ appeal to legislative leaders with the following statement.
“We cannot remain silent when we witness people in positions of power abusing their status to intimidate, control, or threaten others,” Montoya said. “Every person who walks the halls of New Mexico’s Capitol should feel that everyone is playing by the same rules and that the rules apply equally. Individuals should not have to expect to negotiate hostile situations as part of their daily work lives. If they do encounter these situations, they should know that they have access to a system that will protect them and stop abusive behavior.”