SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The national conversation about sexual harassment has already forced three male California lawmakers to resign.
Now a female lawmaker at once at the forefront of the Me Too movement is herself being called on to step down.
California’s female construction workers are the latest interest group calling on Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D- Bell Gardens) to resign. And it’s not just for her record on labor issues.
“Just because you’re a woman doesn’t mean that you’re able to utilize your power in the wrong way,” said Yvonne Rojo -an electrician with the California Building and Construction Trades Council.
They’re referring to allegations that Garcia acted inappropriately with men who worked for her.
Just last week, the Assembly cleared her of misconduct claims, failing to prove that she groped a male staffer and asked other male staffers to play spin the bottle while intoxicated.
Activists say the investigation is incomplete, and displayed that kissing game, right in front of Garcia’s Capitol office.
“A little reminder for Ms. Garcia that no matter where the bottle lands – the answer is always no,” said Gretchen Newsom, an activist representing the construction union.
No is also the word Garcia’s staff used to keep some protesters out. They say many weren’t from Garcia’s district, and CHP alerted capitol security to keep them back.
“We’ve been harassed for the last three months,” said Teala Schaff, Garcia’s communications director.
And she remains one of her biggest supporters.
“She’s run on a platform of transparency of equality and in this office alone – I have seen her do nothing but support and prop up women,” she said.
Now some of those women are determined to see her go.
“She doesn’t represent us. She’s a Me Too hypocrite. It’s about power. And when you abuse power whether you’re a man or a woman- it’s time to go,” said Newsom.
Garcia still denies those allegations, as she’s done from Day 1. And her spokeswoman says she’s excited to get back to work, sometime this week.