Pelosi Remarks at Press Event on New York State ‘Enough is Enough’ Campaign

May 11, 2015
Speech
Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks at a press event with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul in support of New York State’s “Enough is Enough” campaign to curb sexual assault on college campuses.  Below is a transcript of the Leader’s remarks:

 

“Good morning everyone.

[Applause]

“Let us applaud Kathy Hochul for her wonderful leadership and her strong statement.

[Applause]

“Governor Cuomo, Lieutenant Governor Hochul, Madam President – that has a nice ring to it.

[Laughter]

“…[and] Jessica Accardi.  It is an honor for me to be with each of you, and with all of your guests here today, and with my colleagues from the House of Representatives.  The Violence Against Women Act was mentioned, and I want to come back to it for a moment, Governor, to put into context the challenges that we face.  It took over 600 days – the Violence Against Women Act was not being brought up.  But we took it to the public.  We made the issue too hot to handle.  And finally, they said they would bring it up.  But the bill they wanted to bring up was Violence Against Women – ‘We want to stop violence against women, unless you’re an immigrant woman, an LGBT woman, or a native American woman.’  Can you believe that?  Can you believe that?

“Of course, we said no.  And under the leadership of Jerry Nadler from the Judiciary Committee, Nydia Velázquez fighting for immigrant women, and so many others of our colleagues in the Congress, we were able to pass a bill that was ending violence against all women.

“I want to commend the Governor.  What you’ve done in New York State is outstanding.  It’s a family tradition with him, though.  I want to acknowledge Maria Cuomo Cole for her work in terms of violence against women in the military.  She’s been such a leader in that regard.  Thank you, Maria.

[Applause]

“This idea of violence against women is something that has to be put to rest wherever it occurs – no matter what the orientation is of a woman.  And that’s why today is so special.  I want to commend the Governor for his leadership.  The Department of Justice says that one in five women is sexually assaulted while in college.  One in five women.  Forty percent of college sexual assault survivors fear reprisal by the perpetrator.  That is unacceptable.  Enough is enough.  This is an epidemic, in some ways, and that’s why we’re all so grateful to Governor Cuomo’s strong leadership and bold action to protect New York’s college students.

“Affirmative consent is a vital standard to adopt in combating the scourge of campus sexual assault.  My home state of California –  I’m very proud that we were an early adopter of ‘Yes Means Yes’ legislation.  But New York has done us one better.  Our California initiative legislation is just for schools that received funding from the state.  The governor has protected every student in the state of New York.

[Applause]

“That is a very major accomplishment.  That is a tremendous model for the nation.  It is of personal and national significance.  Thank you, Governor Cuomo, for your great leadership.  And that is an applause line.

[Applause]

“I am also proud of the Obama Administration for continuing to take strong action to combat sexual assault on college campuses.  Since the beginning of last year, the White House task force to protect students from sexual assaults, called the ‘Not Alone’ initiative, has provided resources to students, to schools, and to advocates on the front lines of this fight – www.notalone.gov – in partnership with hundreds of schools, sports organizations, and companies.  The task force, ‘It’s On Us’ – the responsibility – ‘It’s On Us’ campaign has held over 600 events, nearly half on campuses, to empower students to respond to and prevent sexual assault.  This is all great.  But it is not a substitute for what the Governor is doing here, which is to put into law – to put into law – this very strong standard, to apply to all college students in the state of New York.

[Applause]

“We have to attack this problem on campus and in the Congress, and states like California and New York can create a drumbeat across America.  And of course, the New York drum beat is stronger, with your provision.

[Laughter]

“And I, again, thank Kathy Hochul for her leadership in traveling across New York to talk with students and listen to advocates and survivors trying to end this epidemic.  Kathy, of course – you spoke of looking into the eyes of a survivor.  Thank you, again, Governor Cuomo for taking this bold – bold – and vital action to confront sexual assault today.  It is really important for you – I know we see it here, and sometimes we take for granted what has happened.  But you have to know how very bold the action New York state has taken is – an example, a model for the country.

“Now, it’s my pleasure to introduce a very special guest – probably the person of the hour here.  She is a junior at SUNY-Fashion Institute of Technology, Treasurer of the Fashion Institute of Technology Student Government, and the recently elected Treasurer of the statewide SUNY Student Assembly: Jessica Accardi.”

[Applause]