RI lawmaker proud of #MeToo movement, but says more must be done

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Following Time magazine’s announcement of the “MeToo” silence breakers being named person of the year, State Rep. Teresa Tanzi said she is proud of them for coming forward.

“I felt it was the obvious choice, it really was the biggest story of the year,” Tanzi said Wednesday.

Tanzi’s words made headlines across the country in October as she revealed that a higher-ranking member of the General Assembly told her sexual favors could help advance her legislation.

“I felt like I was one of the dominoes in a long line of dominoes that was part of this movement,” she added.

Tanzi’s story became part of the national “#MeToo” movement, where millions worldwide posted to Twitter about their experiences with sexual harassment and assault.

“I felt very proud to have been a small part of it and I’m just so proud of the women who began it,” Tanzi said.

Tanzi has never named the person who made the comments to her because she says if she does, the conversation will be just about the person instead of the broader issue. Despite Time’s cover, Tanzi also said there is much more ahead in regards to the movement.

“The resolution isn’t here yet,” she said. “I think we’re identifying it. I think people are finding it more difficult that it’s a reality in the workplace.”

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello asked Tanzi to chair a study commission focusing on workplace harassment and she said progress is being made.

The attorney general’s office and R.I. State Police are continuing to look into Tanzi’s case and said they couldn’t comment on the status or direction of the investigation.