MANHATTAN, N.Y. — Dozens of women rallied outside of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Manhattan office on Saturday, demanding the governor’s resignation amid a slew of sexual harassment allegations.
The demonstrators were led by Assembly Member Jessica González-Rojas and other advocates who say Cuomo should step down. The women also demanded Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie immediately impeach the governor for his alleged actions.
Demonstrators held signs that read “Cuomo must go” and “Respect women” as several speakers addressed the crowd.
“Gov. Cuomo is Trump in sheep’s clothing, the fact that’s he’s putting it back on the victim the fact he’s victim blaming while continuing to hold onto power,” said Erica Vladimer, the co-founder of the Sexual Harassment Working Group.
The group is an organization of former state legislative staffers who say they were once harassed by their bosses. Vladimer says her first-hand experiences as a survivor led her in the fight to hold the state’s top leader accountable.
“If they will not be held to account we will get them out of office,” said Vladimer.
In 2019 Cuomo signed a law to protect employees against harassment and discrimination in the workplace.
Women at the rally said the Governor broke his law.
“Clearly, he’s not taking his own training. For someone to say and use an excuse for years I’ve always kissed and hugged people so what’s the difference now,” said Zakiyah Ansari, the Alliance of Quality Education Advocacy Director.
As rallies continue around the state, legislators like Gonzalez-Rojas are dedicated to the fight for justice for all victims.
“We can no longer be under the grips of this governor who has shown time and time again that he cares little about the people and more about his power,” said Gonzalez-Rojas.
The rally was held as state Attorney General Letitia James continued her office’s independent investigation into the harassment allegations.
James’ office subpoenaed dozens of officials in Cuomo’s administration, including top aide Melissa DeRosa, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday citing sources familiar with the investigation.
Meanwhile, the chair of the state Assembly Judiciary Committee said earlier this week that it could take months to determine whether Cuomo should be impeached. The Assembly voted to authorize an impeachment investigation earlier in March.
At least eight women, including several current or former staff members, publicly alleged Cuomo either sexually harassed them or acted inappropriately toward them.
The governor has apologized, saying he never meant to make anyone feel uncomfortable, but refused to resign from office. Instead, Cuomo has asked New Yorkers and lawmakers to wait for the results of the attorney general’s investigation before calling for action against him.
Correction: A previous version of this story misstated two New York lawmakers attended the rally, but they were unable to make it.