Emerge New Mexico stands with, supports, and believes Marianna Anaya.
The disheartening truth is that, as an organization committed to helping Democratic women and non-binary people to run for public office and win, Emerge New Mexico is no stranger to women and femmes sharing their personal experiences with sexual harassment and assault. The common thread in most of these experiences, including Marianna’s, is that the abuse of power and authority occurs over long stretches of time and often, it is not the perpetrator’s first time.
Marianna’s account of her experience underscores how this significant issue is present in the political world. Her open letter recounts the first encounter of sexual harassment and assault in 2015, and then more recently, during the 2022 legislative session.
As Marianna courageously shared about her perpetrator, “You have a pattern of sexually abusive behavior and abuse of power as a legislator and I want every woman who has to work with you to know about your actions and to hold you accountable.”
Let’s be clear: We expect our leaders to be models of respectful and honorable behavior. And when and where they have transgressed or caused harm, they must take responsibility and be held accountable. No one’s behavior is above scrutiny. No one gets a pass.
At the same time, we are aware that this pervasive issue is much larger and deeper than the actions and statements of political figures. Nevertheless, we recognize that candidates and elected officials set the stage, and more importantly, write the laws that determine how individuals are allowed to conduct themselves in society.
Since our founding in 2006, Emerge New Mexico is proud to encourage, support, and train an increasing number of Democratic women and non-binary people, and in particular, women of color, to hold elected office in New Mexico. We have trained 420 graduates, and over 100 hold public office today. We expect that they, their staff, and anyone who works in politics are treated with the utmost respect. To that end, as a political organization, Emerge New Mexico is committed to actively working to end the pervasive culture of abuse of power and authority and the silencing of sexual harassment and assault survivors. We join the chorus of political organizations speaking out against this destructive behavior.
Marianna, thank you for your courage and for sharing your experience to inspire change in our society. Emerge New Mexico stands in solidarity with you and with all survivors of sexual harassment and assault. We see you. We are holding space for you. We believe you.