Today, there was high drama at the Colorado State Capitol as Representative Steve Lebsock awaited his fate from the Colorado House after sexual harassment charges against him had been deemed credible. The vote required a two-thirds majority in order to remove Lebsock from the House. It had been since 1915 when a House member was expelled from the Colorado State Capitol. Rep. William Howlett was banished after committing perjury during a bribery investigation.
After a day of stories, emotion, and debate Rep. Steve Lebsock was dismissed by a vote of 52 to 9, and his last political maneuver was to switch his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican. Lebsock walked out of the House Chamber as a legislator for the last time, and next Monday, Rep. Faith Winter can walk through the Capitol without fearing that she will run into the man that made her working environment uncomfortable. Hopefully, the other women who experienced sexual harassment from Rep. Steve Lebsock will feel a bit of relief that a punishment was handed down to the former representative from Thornton.
The victory at the Colorado State Capitol today is a victory for victims everywhere because there should be a renewed hope that the working environment for all people will continue to evolve. Sexual harassment has no place in a professional setting and the courageous actions by the Colorado House of Representatives have set a new precedent at the Capitol that sexual harassment will not be tolerated, and it should not be acceptable anywhere. People depend on their professions to pay bills and they deserve to feel secure and free from uncomfortable sexual advances. It was great to see both men and women using their votes in the House to state with one voice, “sexual harassment is not acceptable!”
We should all stand together against this predatory behavior. We can do better.