Grijalva, McEachin: Fixing National Park Service Sexual Harassment Means Changing the Culture – and Congress Needs to Step Up

Washington, D.C. – Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Rep. Donald McEachin – the ranking member of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee who requested a congressional hearing on sexual harassment at the National Park Service (NPS) in June – released the following statement on today’s NPS survey in which 38 percent of employees report experiencing some form of sexual harassment.

“Dumping this news on a Friday afternoon, without any clear next steps, suggests this administration still isn’t taking this problem as seriously as it should. Stopping sexual harassment will require changing the agency’s culture, which has survived through administrations of both political parties, and that won’t happen unless Secretary Zinke makes this a genuine priority. Congress has a responsibility to ensure that Secretary Zinke takes command of ending sexual harassment, and I stand ready to work with Chairman Bishop to hold a hearing on this employee survey and next steps from the Interior Department as soon as possible.”

“I have repeatedly asked Secretary Zinke, both in person and through written correspondence, to prioritize addressing the culture of sexual harassment that has permeated the NPS,” Rep. McEachin said. “This problem is far too serious and has gone on for far too long. We need long-term, systemic solutions. I urge Secretary Zinke to listen closely to the survey results and quickly implement changes that will eliminate all forms of sexual harassment in the NPS. I also implore Chairmen Bishop and Westerman to heed requests to hold congressional hearings to remedy this issue further.”

Among other actions, Natural Resources Committee Democrats requested the initial NPS employee survey as well as its expansion to include seasonal employees; previously requested a hearing on the issue; and, in a budget hearing earlier this year, highlighted the administration’s failure to make an exception to Zinke’s hiring ban to deal with the backlog of sexual harassment cases.

Press Contact

Adam Sarvana (Grijalva)                                                                 

(202) 225-6065 or (202) 578-6626

Jamitress Bowden (McEachin)