Tiffany Cordero

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With the 2020 U.S. Senate elections just around the corner, the competitive nature of things can sometimes highlight or bring out the worst in people.

If there is anyone who knows how tense things can get, its Chair of the Committee on Women’s Health and New York State senator for the 18th districtJulia Salazar

Known for her activism, Salazar won her seat as a first-time candidate after unseating incumbent senator Martin Malave Dilan in the Democratic primary in 2018. Since then, she’s received her fair share of threats and has been the subject of several conspiracy theories ranging from affiliations to QAnon and that she and representative Ocasio-Cortez are the same person.

However, this past Tuesday, Salazar let the twitterverse know she’s not one to mess with when it comes to her staff.

“Call me to yell at me if you must. Say hateful things to me on social media. Slip threatening hate mail under my door. Send people after me. Every single one of these things happened to me in 2018. But please: Do not ever threaten my staff. I signed up for this; they did not.”

The clap back was in regard to a threatening phone call a staffer on Salazar’s camp received.

“I should preface this with the fact that I didn’t mean to alarm people, but at the same time I take this stuff seriously,” she said when asked about the threat.  “One of my staff mentioned they had gotten a phone call while I was in Albany. The phone call was along the lines of “I need to speak the senator’ and after being told I was in Albany; their response was very threatening.”

Although the phone call wasn’t physically threatening, the threat-maker made it seem like they would appear in person to the staffer if they weren’t given the opportunity to speak to the Senator at that moment.

In response to why she took to twitter to make a statement, Salazar responded, “I wanted to make a point that it makes me upset that people mistreat my staff regardless,” said Salazar.

“My staff are respectful, accommodating and courteous and for them not to receive that in return indicates to me sometimes that someone one treats their staffers as if they weren’t important.” “Thankfully none of my staff said they felt unsafe but it’s still a big deal for me,” she added.

Although Salazar doesn’t know who made the threatening phone call to her staffer, she made it clear that she’s not in the business of gaslighting her peers and constituents.

“I actually don’t know if the phone call came from a constituent but if it was, I would prefer not to name them. They didn’t commit a crime or threaten to physically harm anyone. I wouldn’t want to abuse my power by putting them on blast. “

While Salazar acknowledges that threats and misdirected anger come with the title, she was quick to remind us that her staffers didn’t sign up for mistreatment.

“I consider a requirement of my job to be accessible to those who need me at all hours if possible, but ultimately, what I was saying in my tweet is that they didn’t sign up for abuse,” said Salazar.

“I try to make sure they’re not over worked and that the expectations from me in my role aren’t unfairly passed on to them. They signed up for public service, but they didn’t sign up to be a Senator and they don’t get paid to be around the clock. So, they deserve to have their boundaries respected,” he added.  

Between the threatening phone calls, heated debates, and the twitter fights, it’s clear that this election season is going to be the most dramatic yet. Let’s just hope that respect is at the forefront of everything.