Six minority women bolted from far-left Democrat presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren’s Nevada campaign over an alleged toxic work environment and feeling like they were tokens for the campaign.
Politico reported that the complaints centered around “a toxic work environment in which minorities felt tokenized and senior leadership was at loggerheads.”
Megan Lewis, a field organizer, told Politico, “During the time I was employed with Nevada for Warren, there was definitely something wrong with the culture. I filed a complaint with HR, but the follow-up I received left me feeling as though I needed to make myself smaller or change who I was to fit into the office culture.”
“Every election will always be the most important election of our lifetimes,” Lewis later added. “Organizing culture needs to change because the fact is our well-being is more important than any election. I hope this starts a conversation that helps facilitate personal reflection about ways we can change campaign culture.”
Politico said that another recently departed Warren staffer agreed with Lewis’ statement, saying, “I felt like a problem — like I was there to literally bring color into the space but not the knowledge and voice that comes with it,” she said in an interview. We all were routinely silenced and not given a meaningful chance on the campaign. Complaints, comments, advice, and grievances were met with an earnest shake of the head and progressive buzzwords but not much else.”
Politico said that a third recently departed Warren staffer agreed with the sentiment of the other two women. The three other women who left the campaign did not give quotes to Politico.
Warren was confronted on the issue during an MSNBC interview on Thursday night, where she blamed American’s “long legacy” of “racism and oppression” before ultimately conceding that she was responsible for what happened on her campaign.
“There’s a story in ‘Politico’ that I saw you responded to, and I just want to get your response to here on air, about six women of color that quit your Nevada campaign with complaints of a toxic work environment, and tokenism, one of them went on the record,” MSNBC host Chris Hayes said. “I saw that you responded to that and apologized. What do you want to say in response to learning about that?”
“You know, I believe these women without any equivocation and I apologize personally that they had a bad experience on the campaign,” Warren responded. “I really work hard to try to build a campaign and a work environment where it’s diverse and open and everyone is welcome and celebrated and gets to bring their whole self to work every day.”
“But I’m also very aware that racism and oppression in this country have left a long legacy,” Warren continued. “And it creates the kind of toxicity where people, power structures, people take advantage of other people. It’s something for which we have to be constantly vigilant, and constantly determined to do better. I take responsibility for this, and I’m working with my team to address these concerns.”
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) February 7, 2020