CASS testifies to DC Council on WMATA’s handling of sexual harassment and assault

Julia Strange, CASS’s Director of Programs and Policy.
Julia Strange, CASS’s Director of Programs and Policy.

On Friday, March 15th, Julia Strange, CASS’s Director of Programs and Policy, testified on behalf of CASS at the DC Council’s performance oversight hearing on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA). Julia addressed the agency’s handling of sexual harassment and assault on public transit, an issue that CASS first shed light on in February 2012 when we, along with other local activists and survivors, testified on the importance of strengthening WMATA’s response to sexual harassment and assault on public transit.

At Friday’s hearing, we applauded the progress WMATA has so far made in addressing sexual harassment and assault on public transportation, including its new-and-improved online reporting form and public service announcement (PSA) campaign. We also urged WMATA leadership to prioritize personnel training and expand its PSA to target potential perpetrators and bystanders. (Read our full testimony here.)

Councilmember Muriel Bowser, chair of the DC Council Committee on Economic Development, presided over the hearing and specifically thanked CASS for our continued work on this issue. In addition, WMATA CEO and General Manager, Richard Sarles testified that safety was a high priority for WMATA.

Though this is all encouraging feedback, we will of course continue to amplify concerns that we hear from our followers and community members to both DC Council and WMATA leadership.

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