MANHATTAN - When Leah Hebert, a former legislative staffer, approached Dan Quart almost four years ago to discuss how to truly reform the state’s sexual harassment laws, he immediately made time to talk and offer his support. On a trip to Albany to speak on a panel, Hebert and other survivors had reached out to many lawmakers to talk, but Quart was one of a few to respond and get involved.
Quart authored a letter with the Sexual Harassment Working Group (SHWG) calling for public hearings into sexual harassment and potential reforms. Quart then carried the letter in the legislature, despite pushback from his colleagues and pressure to drop the issue from more senior lawmakers. Over many months, the SHWG, Quart, and other lawmakers gathered enough support to successfully secure public hearings, which ultimately led to stronger reforms of the harassment laws.
“Despite immense pushback that Dan got from colleagues, he took a risk by carrying the letter of support,” said Hebert. “Having little to gain and a lot to lose, Dan stood his ground for what was right. We advocated for 265 days for those hearings, held many press conferences, and were as loud as possible to get these to happen. Dan joined nearly every one of those press conferences, and was right next to us as we built a coalition of support.
“Time and again, on issues like sexual harassment, sexual assault, gun violence, police accountability, and criminal justice reform, Dan has stood up for what is right even when it is unpopular. Where others stay silent because of political pressure, Dan works closely with advocates and community leaders to build support and make meaningful change.”
The renewed discussion around Albany’s workplace environment is incredibly important. While the reforms passed in 2019 made things better, clearly the toxic culture still exists and the fight for a safe workplace continues. The next District Attorney must be able to stand up for what’s right no matter the issue. They will need to oversee and lead a significant culture change to build a fairer office. Quart has demonstrated time and again that he is ready to do that on day one.