Michigan Democratic Congressmember John Conyers has announced his resignation in the face of multiple accusations of sexual harassment.
Rep. John Conyers: “I am retiring today. And I want everyone to know how much I appreciate the support, the incredible, undiminished suport I’ve received across the years from my supporters, not only in my district, but across the country, as well.”
Congressmember Conyers has been the longest-serving current member of the House of Representatives and the longest-serving African-American lawmaker in congressional history.
Multiple women have accused Conyers of sexually harassing or groping them, including his former deputy chief of staff, Marion Brown, who settled a sexual misconduct case against Conyers for $27,000. Brown said Conyers invited her to a Chicago hotel room in 2005, where he appeared in his underwear and demanded she touch him sexually. She says she was fired when she refused. This is Brown, speaking on NBC’s “Today Show.”
Marion Brown: “I am taking a risk. And the reason why I’m taking a risk, it is important. I want to be a voice. You know, my ancestors, my grandmother, my mother, my daughters, my granddaughter—you know, I want her, when she enters the workforce, long [after] when I’m gone, I want her to not have to endure sexism and gender inequality. And I want to stand up, and I felt it was worth the risk to stand up, for all the women in the workforce that are voiceless, you know, that ordinary women like myself, with extraordinary challenges, working in the workforce that are dominated by men.”
Congressmember John Conyers has endorsed his son, John Conyers III, to replace him. Ian Conyers, the grandson of Conyers’s brother, is a state senator and will also run for John Conyers’ seat in the House of Representatives.