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Comments: Week of September 17, 2018

Photo: Marco Grob for New York Magazine

1. “Is it possible we’ve never really met Jonah Hill before?” Adam Sternbergh asked in his cover story on the actor, sartorial icon, and first-time director (“What Do You Expect From Jonah Hill?,” September 3–16). Poulomi Das said, “Such a lovely piece deconstructing the second coming of Jonah Hill. (Was I the only one who didn’t know that Beanie Feldstein, who played Julie in Ladybird, is his sister?)” The story also revealed that Hill has a tattoo of Beanie’s name, which prompted Anna Brand of NBC News to write, “I would be concerned if my brother tattooed my name on his arm.” And @menssen tweeted, “I usually detest celebrity profiles, but this Jonah Hill #longread was a nice break from reading about the end of America.”

2. Across the country, in spite of the reckoning the #MeToo movement has inspired, many women have been left behind — New York and the Center for Investigative Reporting spoke to more than a dozen of them (“The Unreckoned,” September 3–16). Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center, responded, “The stories confirm what we’ve heard from the thousands who have sought help from the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund. Many who experience harassment at work fear coming forward, and for good reason. Culturally we’ve learned that coping with harassment is the norm. Yet, I remain hopeful. Long overdue changes to our laws are possible. At the Law Center we are providing individuals the legal tools to challenge harassment through the Fund. And we are seeing the public demand to upend the culture that fuels harassment in the first place and to hold institutions that protect harassers accountable. Let’s work together toward this new norm.” Filmmaker and founder of the Representation Project Jennifer Siebel Newsom added, “There is still so much work to be done. We must keep raising our voices to ensure the movement goes beyond the pages of our newspapers to the lives of real women.” And Liz Shuler, secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO, wrote: “As the brave women in this piece tell us, speaking out comes with its own set of risks, opening the door to retaliation and social isolation. While not infallible, unions have a special ability to combat these egregious violations by including collective bargaining protections and using our political might to win public policies that empower working women. In one recent landmark victory, union hospitality-industry workers in Chicago secured an ordinance that provides panic buttons to hotel housekeepers to ensure safety on the job and prohibits employers from retaliating against them. Our power is together, and that’s how we’ll end sexual harassment.”

3. For New York, the Marshall Project’s John J. Lennon and Bill Keller revisited Andrew Goldstein, who pushed Kendra Webdale to her death 19 years ago; now that he’s been released, Goldstein stands to benefit from the law he inspired, which yielded major changes in how New York cares for the violent mentally ill (“A Turbulent Mind,” September 3–16). John Snook, executive director of the Treatment Advocacy Center, responded: “In the 20 years since the passage of Kendra’s Law, nearly half the country adopted laws mirroring New York’s, with everyone from San Francisco Mayor Lee to New Jersey Governor Christie speaking out in support. It even spurred a large-scale federal grant program to encourage more programs like it. The task before us now is to ensure that such assistance is available to all people, no matter where they live.” And University of Maryland law professor Amanda C. Pustilnik wrote, “When assisted outpatient treatment measures like Kendra’s Law work, it is because they require states to earmark funds for psychiatric treatment. The next step beyond assisted outpatient treatment should emphasize collaborative treatment and address the bigger danger facing the public: Not violence by people with mental illnesses or coercion by the state, but political choices to underfund care.” Similarly, Matthew R. Davison, a Chicago lawyer who specializes in mental-health law, responded, “Mr. Goldstein’s release is a ripe time to consider the progress of our outpatient programs and how much further we have to go. While the article highlights the typical model of AOT (i.e., involuntary commitment), new and novel implementations of AOT should be considered for persons that are willing to enter into AOT court agreements to resolve pending civil and criminal cases. By giving an individual input into his or her own treatment plan and a customizable blueprint at discharge, the person is more invested in maintaining his or her continuum of care under the supervision and encouragement of a judge. These are community problems and we need these community solutions.”

Comments: Week of September 17, 2018