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Prominent Feminists Oppose the Recall in Santa Cruz
by Santa Cruz News
Saturday Feb 8th, 2020 6:15 PM
Ann Simonton, the founder of Media Watch, spoke out again this week to address what she calls the "false accusations" leveled against Santa Cruz City Councilmembers Chris Krohn and Drew Glover, and to urge voters to vote no on their recall. "False accusations of harassing women is worrisome, as it generates an environment where survivors who experience harassment aren’t believed," Simonton wrote. "Generations of women have worked to reach the progress we are beginning to see today. It’s particularly egregious when a campaign falsely invokes mistreatment of women in order to gain political favor," she said. Women from all walks of life in Santa Cruz have come forward to urge a "no" vote on the recall, including Gillian Greensite, the co-founder of the City of Santa Cruz Commission for the Prevention of Violence Against Women (CPVAW), and its first Chair, who has written extensively about it. Photo: Santa Cruz City Councilmembers Drew Glover and Chris Krohn.
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Ann Simonton's full letter:

Dear Neighbors,

I experienced my first rapes at the early age of 14. These experiences set me up to believe that what I endured during my eleven year stint as a fashion/advertising model were somehow normal. I have dedicated my life’s work to preventing sexual violence, as I deeply believe no human should ever have to go through what I have. The emergence of the #MeToo movement acknowledges a new beginning where sexual survivor’s testimony will hopefully begin to be fully believed. So, I have a particular interest in the charges by the campaign to recall Councilmembers Chris Krohn and Drew Glover. I immediately looked into these charges of men having “harassed female City Hall employees," and found that these charges are untrue.

I currently serve on our City’s Commission for the Prevention of Violence Against Women. It was in that role that I studied the complaints against the Councilmembers through the independent Rose Investigative Report, discussions with HR and the City’s Attorney. The most vital findings from our City’s leaders, and the lengthy investigation was that no charges were found to be gender based, nor did they involve sexual harassment. The only substantiated complaint against Chris Krohn was that he uttered a "laugh, scoff or snort" during a staff presentation to the Council. And the only substantiated complaint against Drew Glover is that he was "needlessly and unjustifiably antagonistic" to another Council member when she overstayed her time in a shared conference room. Two workplace mishaps do not merit the recall of an elected official.

The false statements by the recall campaign, I found to be disturbing in two respects. Misleading voters with false information undermines voters' ability to make informed choices. Deceiving voters, harms our democratic process. At a time when foreign governments are successfully manipulating public opinion and our elections, voters need to read more, work harder and ask more questions to maintain truthful politics in our home community.

False accusations of harassing women is worrisome, as it generates an environment where survivors who experience harassment aren’t believed. Generations of women have worked to reach the progress we are beginning to see today. It’s particularly egregious when a campaign falsely invokes mistreatment of women in order to gain political favor.

With much hope and trust that our community will vote NO on recall in the upcoming March election.

Sincerely, Ann J. Simonton

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