Q&A / Platform
What do you think is the biggest political issue this campaign season in RI?
I would submit to you that the best way to answer your question is with another question: Are you better off today or are you ready for a better Rhode Island? Please look at the facts: Rhode Island’s General Assembly has been under the control of a Democratic super-majority for eight decades. Look at the fact that our beloved State is near the bottom of almost every economic category in US News and World Report for Opportunity, Education, Economy, Infrastructure, etc. A vote for Republican leadership will bring balance and fresh voices of collaboration to our Legislature, something we desperately need.
What do we need to do to improve RI’s economy?
We need higher-paying jobs that provide robust career opportunities to keep our children in RI. To produce higher-paying jobs, we need an education system that delivers graduates to RI’s workforce who can compete in areas like engineering and the sciences. We also need less regulation on businesses and more investment in infrastructure.
What is the greatest challenge facing RI as a state?
Two things pop out that are equally important to me: Education and Healthcare. Walk a mile in the shoes of a Rhode Islander who has a loved one stuck in our healthcare system, particularly one who is retired and elderly. What you will find is a system that needs enormous change. Our nursing homes and assisted living facilities are under tremendous pressure, via an unfunded General Assembly mandate, to deliver increased staffing in the worst inflationary environment in 40 years. We need help for families who have a loved one with dementia, a one-way disease that causes enormous stress on entire families. We can do better, and we must because our healthcare system touches every Rhode Islander.
We need an education system that will focus on the basics of…education. I’ve spoken to many college professors who say they’re consistently finding that our students are graduating high school without mastering the basics in reading and writing.
Why are you running for office? What makes you uniquely qualified?
During my tenure as Town Council President in Smithfield, I was very proactive. I took bold steps to create a Water Supply Advisory Board for the Smithfield Water Supply Board, which services a large portion of Smithfield and a small part of North Providence. I investigated many processes that could be done better and planted the seeds for improvements to the system that we’re seeing today. As a financial advisor, I applied my expertise to spearheading efforts that meaningfully improved our “legacy” Police and Fire Pension Plans, making changes in the actuary, recordkeeper and investment management services. We took savings from those improvements and rolled them back into the plans to make them stronger. We made changes to the investment manager of our Post Employment Benefits Trust (OPEB). I was instrumental in creating a Capital Committee when Smithfield’s Charter was changed in 2020. This Capital Committee is already bearing fruit for our community. I now want to bring my proven leadership approach to the General Assembly!
Who is your inspiration?
My father is my inspiration. My dad wasn’t afraid of anything, and he taught me many lessons as I grew up in a family business. My dad worked extremely hard, making many sacrifices for our family, and he instilled in me the belief that you have to do your best every day.