CHICAGO — Her sexual harassment allegations rocked a powerful Illinois Democratic machine and brought change statewide. Tuesday, Alaina Hampton, former campaign staffer to Mike Madigan launched a new initiative to help victims of workplace abuse.
Hampton hosted Chicago’s first-ever “#MeToo Meet Up,” named for the hashtag that became a rallying cry for sexual harassment accusers.
“A woman had reached out to me on social media saying that she was in a similar experience to mine,” Hampton said. “She'd been searching for a support group and couldn't find one. So I thought, you know who is better to put this together than me?”
Last year, Hampton became a whistleblower and sued Madigan and the Illinois Democratic Party that Madigan controls. She claimed he ignored her complaints of unwanted advances and aggressive text messages from ex-Madigan aide Kevin Quinn, brother to Chicago alderman Marty Quinn.
She said she was nearly iced out of working in politics because of the lawsuit.
Attorneys for Hampton told the Chicago Tribune she will receive $75,000 of the settlement. The remainder will go to attorneys' fees and the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund to support women reporting workplace sexual harassment.
A Madigan spokeswoman says the organizations are pleased with the settlement and Madigan “remains committed to protecting employees, volunteers and candidates.”
Because of Hampton going public, and the work of many others in the state, the statute of limitations to file a harassment allegation against anyone has nearly doubled.
“We know that my story is not a special one,” Hampton said. “This is happening to people all the time. And that's why these types of spaces need to be created so we can come together and talk about how we can change things.”
Hampton announced Monday she has taken a new job in politics with a Democratic consulting firm that starts next month.