Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

Chris Bolt/WAER News

Women Veterans in the Central New York area have a new, larger medical center to treat a variety of needs.  That can mean normal health services and even the effects of sexual assault.

nownys.org

  The rights of women from voting to employment and other rights are being celebrated today.  It was on this date 94 years ago that the right for women to vote in the U-S was made official.  Retired educator and businesswoman Marilyn Bero is on the Board of the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls.  She wonders if younger women realize the struggles their fore-mothers fought through.

bbc.com

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is one of eight co-sponsors of a bipartisan bill aimed at bringing sexual assault on college campuses out of the shadows.  The Campus Accountability and Safety Act aims to create accountability and transparency on campuses by giving aggressively penalizing colleges and universities that don’t properly investigate sexual assaults.  

 Gillibrand says the survivors who come forward to tell their stories are the definition of courage.

Fines for under-reporting include up to 1% of an institution’s operating budget, which could amount to millions of dollars. 

Gillibrand says the confidential advisors can play a key role in getting survivors the services they need and assisting the investigation.

"She is able to know what her options are, what it would like if she did a college campus review, what it would look like if she went through the criminal justice system, and she can have complete control of her case.  Having that first entry point be someone who's well trained, which is not the case on college campuses today, so they actually ask the right questions in the right order so they save information that's needed later and give comfort to that  survivor, that will result in more reporting and more ultimate prosecutions."

The measure also requires a memorandum of understanding with local law enforcement so it’s clear who will take the lead on the investigation.  Gillibrand expects support for the legislation to grow in time, and hopes for floor time in September to make the case.  She’s optimistic the measure will pass this year. 

VERA HOUSE REACTS

The Education Director of Vera House thinks the new legislation is a positive step forward. Loren Cunningham says while one piece of legislation can't address all aspects of the issue, it is important that colleges and universities will be held more accountable. 

   Cunningham says some of the local colleges and universities in Syracuse are more receptive than others to training and prevention activities, but adds Vera House has a good working relationship with most of them.
senator kirsten gillibrand stands at a wooden podium
WAER News

Women might be the key in passing an increase to the federal minimum wage – or at least that’s how New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is trying to frame the wage legislation to her congressional colleagues.  She highlighted the issue Tuesday on “Equal Pay Day,” the date to which women would have to work to match the pay men got for the same job last calendar year.  

Chris Bolt/WAER News

Some of New York’s congressional representatives are using a Syracuse project as an example of why the U-S needs better toxic clean-up laws.  A new federal proposal announced Monday could help the city’s economy.