ROCHESTER (WXXI) - People participating in marches in the United States and around the world walked in support of female empowerment and denounced President Donald Trump's views on immigration, abortion, LGBT rights and women's rights on the anniversary of his inauguration.
ALBANY (WSKG) - A poll on New Yorkers' attitudes on racism and sexual harassment show that many believe society has a way to go to improve things. The Siena College survey finds that 36 percent of women report being the victims of workplace sexual harassment. Siena spokesman Steve Greenberg said that when it comes to the issue, there is no upstate-downstate divide or difference in political parties, and three-quarters of New Yorkers think it’s a significant problem. “Those are just staggering numbers,” Greenberg said. The Siena poll finds that nearly two-thirds of New Yorkers think race relations are just fair or poor, a number that’s up from polls conducted earlier in the decade.
ALBANY (WSKG) - The leader of the Independent Democrats in the state Senate denies that he forcibly kissed a former staffer, and says he intends to remain as leader of the breakaway democratic faction. Sen. Jeff Klein (D-Bronx) and his colleague, Sen. Diane Savino, issued a preemptive strike Wednesday against an article in the Huffington Post, where the former female staffer, 30-year-old Erica Vladimer, says Klein forcibly kissed her on the sidewalk outside an Albany bar on March 31, 2015, the night the state budget was approved. Klein said the incident did not occur. “I want to be crystal clear,” Klein told reporters on hastily arranged conference call. “This alleged incident never happened, nor did anything inappropriate happen that evening in any fashion.
ROCHESTER (WXXI) - Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was in Rochester Monday announcing bipartisan legislation to expand the Small Business Administration’s microloan program, helping women and minority owned businesses succeed. The Microloan Modernization Act will strengthen the current program, Gillibrand said, by raising the total limit on outstanding loans from intermediary lenders, which would allow for more loans to be made. "The lending organizations aren’t making enough loans. And they’re not reaching enough entrepreneurs to actually reflect the population of incredibly diverse communities like the ones here in Rochester. And they’re not reaching enough women entrepreneurs."
ROCHESTER (WXXI) - Last January, a day after the inauguration of President Trump, an estimated 10,000 people flocked to Seneca Falls for a women’s march and rally. Organizers are planning a similar event on January 20, 2018. Rev. Leah Ntuala, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Seneca Falls, says the call to action has not diminished since last year. "(This) year, I think everybody was worried about what possible changes the administration could make that would roll back rights women had made ground in getting and maintaining, and (now) we've realized some of those fears." The 2018 march and rally is called "per-Sisters for Women's Equality."
Nine professors and students who filed complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the University of Rochester three months ago, on Friday filed a lawsuit against the university, President Joel Seligman and Provost Robert Clark. (the court papers are at the end of this story)
The 192-page complaint echoes many of the allegations contained in the EEOC complaint, many of which centered around Professor Florian Jaeger, in the university’s Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department. Jaeger has denied the charges, and was placed on administrative leave. The lawsuit alleges inappropriate behavior, sexual harassment, and retaliation for bringing the allegations to light. Earlier this week, TIME Magazine included two of the plaintiffs, Celeste Kidd and Jessica Cantlon in their ‘Person of the Year’ issue.
HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- A recent report shows transgender people in Pennsylvania--and across the country--face significantly higher-than-average rates of unemployment and poverty. The numbers are part of a country-wide study by the National Center for Transgender Equality. The figures show that in the year 2015, 11 percent of the commonwealth's transgender population was unemployed, as opposed to just five percent of the general, national population. A whopping 31 percent were impoverished, which contrasts with the national 14 percent poverty rate. Sandy James, a spokesman for the center, said Pennsylvania is part of a much bigger trend.