KEN LESLIE, DIRECTOR OF 1MATTERS.ORG, VETERANS MATTER, AND ORGANIZER OF TENT CITY, IS THE SUBJECT OF SEVERAL CREDIBLE ALLEGATIONS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND ABUSE OF POWER
“Advocate in Chief” has been removed and reinstated from Boards and Committees despite repeated reports of sexual harassment
September 16, 2021 – Mr. Ken Leslie, “Advocate in Chief” for 1Matters.org, Veterans Matter, and the main organizer of Tent City has been accused of sexual harassment and abuse of power by several Toledo women. On August 18th, the Boards of Directors for 1Matters.org and Toledo Streets Newspaper were notified of the allegations and were provided with affidavits and evidence. Both Boards have been called on to remove Mr. Leslie from any volunteer, paid, fundraising, or representative position (including front-facing and behind-the-scenes, public and private) associated with homelessness or veterans. These demands are intended to prevent Mr. Leslie’s continued proximity to vulnerable populations and leadership positions. Additionally, these organizations were urged to publicly announce Mr. Leslie’s removal due to multiple credible allegations of sexual harassment. A deadline of September 15th was imposed by which to act.
On August 18, 2021, a representative from the 1Matters.org’s Board emailed to say they would take the allegations seriously. No other communication has taken place. The Board Chair of Toledo Streets Newspaper communicated that Mr. Leslie has been removed from their Board as per their ‘no-tolerance’ policy on harassment, and subsequently posted their ‘Harassment’ policy on their blog. The women who brought forth the allegations, Ms. Rachel Richardson (CEO of Girl Parts Publishing & Productions) and Ms. Cami Roth Szirotnyak (owner of MillenniAlign Coaching and Director of Planning and Quality of the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Lucas County), offered the opportunity to the Boards to interview them if an independent investigation was initiated, but neither Board responded.
Ms. Richardson and Ms. Roth Szirotnyak now jointly release the following statement: “Lucas County has worked tirelessly to establish a system that better serves individuals, families, youth, and Veterans who are homeless. As participants in this process through our paid and volunteer work over the years, we are sickened by the abuse of power and position that Mr. Ken Leslie assumes in his role as chief leader of 1Matters.org, Veterans Matter, and Tent City. We believe that Mr. Leslie is a constant threat, not only to women he encounters professionally but also to the highly vulnerable populations to which he places himself in proximity. We are supportive of Veterans and their service to our country, and we care deeply about the safety and well-being of individuals who are homeless. Therefore, we are urging public accountability and the removal of Mr. Leslie in all paid and volunteer roles in the spaces of homelessness, housing, and Veterans. We are bringing this to light and demanding his removal of such positions of power so that the people served by, as well as the individuals collaborating with, 1Matters.org and Veterans Matter can function more effectively and without fear of encountering a known harasser. This community, as well as the people served nationally through 1Matters.org’s program, deserve that.”
At this time, we are publicly releasing this information: demanding accountability and consequences for Mr. Leslie’s ongoing abusive behaviors.
For further information, please contact Rachel Richardson and Cami Roth Szirotnyak at email@example.com