POLICY SOLUTIONS 

As our State Representative, I'm focused on improving the standard of living in our neighborhood.

Mt. Pleasant, Valley, and Elmhurst are diverse communities and it is important all our neighbors receive the representation they deserve. From working families to our aging seniors, we will not leave anyone behind!

PROTECTING AND EXPANDING HEALTHCARE

No one in our community should have to worry about whether or not they can afford to visit the doctor. Unfortunately, I have spoken with hundreds of our neighbors who have shared personal stories about their medical debt or inability to visit their primary care provider because of how expensive healthcare is. 

 

I believe healthcare is a human right and I am going to fight so all our neighbors can receive the treatment they deserve, regardless of their economic background. 

As your State Representative, I will unapologetically advocate for:

Fighting Against Cuts to Medicaid


Over the last few years, Rhode Island has continued to cut Medicaid from the state budget (in 2016 alone, we cut more than $70 million from the program). This has led to the closure of state hospitals, nursing homes, and other primary care providers. At the same time, co-pays for Medicaid recipients continue to increase. It does not have to be this way. Instead of spending tax-dollars on “management consultants” and the privatization of government services; we can stop cutting Medicaid and further expand access to the program. When I am at the State House, I will vote against any budget cuts to Medicaid and advocate for further expansion.




Lowering Prescription Drug Costs


Each year, prescription drug prices continue to increase, forcing working families and our senior citizens to choose between paying for their medication, rent, or groceries. This is not an exaggeration as I have spoken with dozens of senior citizens who tell me they have either reduced their fillings or stopped taking their medications completely because of how expensive it is. Our state government has the ability to address the greed of the pharmaceutical industry and it is an urgent issue we have to act on. When I am at the State House, I am going to fight for: - Limiting Monthly Co-Pays on Prescription Drugs - Establishing a “Prescription Drug Affordability Board” -- an independent body with the authority to negotiate with drug companies and establish fair drug costs




Supporting our Nursing Homes


Our nursing homes are suffering from staff shortages, a lack of personal protective equipment, and inadequate support. As a result, Rhode Island has the lowest average number of ‘care hours’ in all of the New England Region. Our seniors deserve to be cared for with dignity and respect! That is why I fully support the efforts of “Raise the Bar on Resident Care” (a coalition of nursing home caregivers, clergy members, community partners, nursing home residents and family members working to end the staffing crisis in Rhode Island nursing homes). When I am at the State House, I am going to fight for: - Safe Staffing Regulations - A state budget that provides nursing homes with an adequate funding stream strictly for resident care and staffing purposes - A minimum standard of 4.5 hours of resident care per day (slightly above the federal recommendation for quality care) - Higher wages for caregivers and healthcare workers (no caregiver and/or healthcare worker should have to work multiple jobs to make ends meet)




Achieving Universal Healthcare


Even if you have health insurance this does not necessarily mean you have access to affordable healthcare. There are thousands of neighbors in our community, who have health insurance from their employer or a private provider, but still do not receive the care they need because of how expensive it is. In between health insurance premiums, co-pays, and deductibles -- it is no wonder why so many of our neighbors are “underinsured”. We need a more efficient healthcare system that will guarantee coverage to everyone and will be more cost-effective for our local businesses. When I am at the State House, I am going to fight for a universal healthcare system that: - Removes the burden of healthcare on employers - Reduces government spending on administrative costs and shifts these dollars to the actual provision of healthcare - Eliminates out-of-pocket healthcare expenses for working and middle-class residents - Provides comprehensive healthcare to ALL Rhode Islanders





A FAIR ECONOMY FOR EVERYONE

We deserve a fair economy that allows everyone to earn a living wage, achieve economic mobility, and live with dignity. For too long, wealthy people and large institutions have gotten their way with state policy, winning tax-cuts and special favors. Meanwhile, our middle-class families, working families, and low-income communities are struggling due to the rising costs of living and stagnant wages. 

As your State Representative, I will unapologetically advocate for:

Fighting Against Cuts to Medicaid


Over the last few years, Rhode Island has continued to cut Medicaid from the state budget (in 2016 alone, we cut more than $70 million from the program). This has led to the closure of state hospitals, nursing homes, and other primary care providers. At the same time, co-pays for Medicaid recipients continue to increase. It does not have to be this way. Instead of spending tax-dollars on “management consultants” and the privatization of government services; we can stop cutting Medicaid and further expand access to the program. When I am at the State House, I will vote against any budget cuts to Medicaid and advocate for further expansion.




Lowering Prescription Drug Costs


Each year, prescription drug prices continue to increase, forcing working families and our senior citizens to choose between paying for their medication, rent, or groceries. This is not an exaggeration as I have spoken with dozens of senior citizens who tell me they have either reduced their fillings or stopped taking their medications completely because of how expensive it is. Our state government has the ability to address the greed of the pharmaceutical industry and it is an urgent issue we have to act on. When I am at the State House, I am going to fight for: - Limiting Monthly Co-Pays on Prescription Drugs - Establishing a “Prescription Drug Affordability Board” -- an independent body with the authority to negotiate with drug companies and establish fair drug costs




Supporting our Nursing Homes


Our nursing homes are suffering from staff shortages, a lack of personal protective equipment, and inadequate support. As a result, Rhode Island has the lowest average number of ‘care hours’ in all of the New England Region. Our seniors deserve to be cared for with dignity and respect! That is why I fully support the efforts of “Raise the Bar on Resident Care” (a coalition of nursing home caregivers, clergy members, community partners, nursing home residents and family members working to end the staffing crisis in Rhode Island nursing homes). When I am at the State House, I am going to fight for: - Safe Staffing Regulations - A state budget that provides nursing homes with an adequate funding stream strictly for resident care and staffing purposes - A minimum standard of 4.5 hours of resident care per day (slightly above the federal recommendation for quality care) - Higher wages for caregivers and healthcare workers (no caregiver and/or healthcare worker should have to work multiple jobs to make ends meet)




Achieving Universal Healthcare


Even if you have health insurance this does not necessarily mean you have access to affordable healthcare. There are thousands of neighbors in our community, who have health insurance from their employer or a private provider, but still do not receive the care they need because of how expensive it is. In between health insurance premiums, co-pays, and deductibles -- it is no wonder why so many of our neighbors are “underinsured”. We need a more efficient healthcare system that will guarantee coverage to everyone and will be more cost-effective for our local businesses. When I am at the State House, I am going to fight for a universal healthcare system that: - Removes the burden of healthcare on employers - Reduces government spending on administrative costs and shifts these dollars to the actual provision of healthcare - Eliminates out-of-pocket healthcare expenses for working and middle-class residents - Provides comprehensive healthcare to ALL Rhode Islanders





SAFE AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING

All our neighbors deserve a safe, healthy, and affordable home. Unfortunately, the costs of rent and housing continue to increase across our communities. Throughout our neighborhood, I have spoken to families who are concerned about being displaced from their homes because of the growing costs.

This is a common trend as more than 35% of RI households are considered “housing cost-burdened” (this means they are spending more than one-third of their income on housing). 

 

Housing affects all aspects of one’s life and our lack of affordable housing is an issue we must urgently address. I believe everyone deserves to live in a safe home they can afford. 

As your State Representative, I will unapologetically advocate for:

Fighting Against Cuts to Medicaid


Over the last few years, Rhode Island has continued to cut Medicaid from the state budget (in 2016 alone, we cut more than $70 million from the program). This has led to the closure of state hospitals, nursing homes, and other primary care providers. At the same time, co-pays for Medicaid recipients continue to increase. It does not have to be this way. Instead of spending tax-dollars on “management consultants” and the privatization of government services; we can stop cutting Medicaid and further expand access to the program. When I am at the State House, I will vote against any budget cuts to Medicaid and advocate for further expansion.




Lowering Prescription Drug Costs


Each year, prescription drug prices continue to increase, forcing working families and our senior citizens to choose between paying for their medication, rent, or groceries. This is not an exaggeration as I have spoken with dozens of senior citizens who tell me they have either reduced their fillings or stopped taking their medications completely because of how expensive it is. Our state government has the ability to address the greed of the pharmaceutical industry and it is an urgent issue we have to act on. When I am at the State House, I am going to fight for: - Limiting Monthly Co-Pays on Prescription Drugs - Establishing a “Prescription Drug Affordability Board” -- an independent body with the authority to negotiate with drug companies and establish fair drug costs




Supporting our Nursing Homes


Our nursing homes are suffering from staff shortages, a lack of personal protective equipment, and inadequate support. As a result, Rhode Island has the lowest average number of ‘care hours’ in all of the New England Region. Our seniors deserve to be cared for with dignity and respect! That is why I fully support the efforts of “Raise the Bar on Resident Care” (a coalition of nursing home caregivers, clergy members, community partners, nursing home residents and family members working to end the staffing crisis in Rhode Island nursing homes). When I am at the State House, I am going to fight for: - Safe Staffing Regulations - A state budget that provides nursing homes with an adequate funding stream strictly for resident care and staffing purposes - A minimum standard of 4.5 hours of resident care per day (slightly above the federal recommendation for quality care) - Higher wages for caregivers and healthcare workers (no caregiver and/or healthcare worker should have to work multiple jobs to make ends meet)




Achieving Universal Healthcare


Even if you have health insurance this does not necessarily mean you have access to affordable healthcare. There are thousands of neighbors in our community, who have health insurance from their employer or a private provider, but still do not receive the care they need because of how expensive it is. In between health insurance premiums, co-pays, and deductibles -- it is no wonder why so many of our neighbors are “underinsured”. We need a more efficient healthcare system that will guarantee coverage to everyone and will be more cost-effective for our local businesses. When I am at the State House, I am going to fight for a universal healthcare system that: - Removes the burden of healthcare on employers - Reduces government spending on administrative costs and shifts these dollars to the actual provision of healthcare - Eliminates out-of-pocket healthcare expenses for working and middle-class residents - Provides comprehensive healthcare to ALL Rhode Islanders





INVESTING IN PUBLIC EDUCATION

All our students deserve a high-quality education, a safe learning environment, mental health services, and teachers that are paid well. As a state, we have to further invest in the future of our Providence Public School students. I am proud to stand with education professionals, teachers, students, and their families.

As your State Representative, I will unapologetically advocate for:

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Updating Rhode Island's Education Funding Formula


We have an outdated funding formula that does not account for important factors in a school district, such as English-language learners, special needs students, and the rising costs of teaching materials. We need to immediately update our funding formula, so Providence Public Schools have the resources to fully invest in our students.




Repairing our Public School Buildings


There are countless schools in our community that are crumbling because of their age and lack of reinvestment. We need to prioritize the repairment of our public schools in the state budget. We cannot expect our students to succeed in an unsafe environment with safety hazards (e.g., falling roofs, faulty heating and cooling systems, broken windows, and deteriorating doors).




Mental Health Services for our Students


Across Providence, we have students with unaddressed trauma and mental health needs which prevent them from succeeding academically. It is necessary all our public schools have at least one full-time nurse and an adequate number of mental health professionals.




Hot Meals for our Students


No child should go hungry at school because of their economic situation. We need to provide all our students with free breakfast and lunch.




Expand Afterschool and Summer Learning Programs


All our students deserve access to high-quality afterschool and summer learning programs. Research has shown that students enrolled in academic programs outside of traditional learning hours are more likely to: improve their academic performance, reduce risky behaviors, promote physical health, and provide a safe environment for the children of working parents. Learning does not end in the classroom and in today’s economy it is necessary we invest in programs that will provide our students with the critical skills they need to be successful after high school.




Fair Treatment for our Teacher Unions


It is incredibly important that all teachers are unionized and have the ability to collectively bargain. I am prepared to stand alongside teachers if they decide to strike against stagnant wages, staff shortages, inadequate working conditions, alongside other unfair practices. Teacher unions benefit everyone -- from students to parents. Here are just a few reasons why I will advocate for teacher unions across our state: - Bargaining helps attract and retain high quality teachers - Bargaining ensures fair employment practices - helping teacher morale - Bargaining helps teachers receive they resources and supplies they need which improves teaching and learning - Bargaining gives public educators a genuine voice to identify and solve school and classroom issues (as opposed to only administrators)





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ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE

As the “Ocean State” we should be leading the fight to combat climate change and protect our beautiful environment. If we do not begin to urgently address climate change now, we will begin to experience extreme weather events such as droughts, severe storms, and flooding — we cannot allow this to happen.

As your State Representative, I will unapologetically advocate for:

A Green New Deal for Rhode Island


To effectively address climate change, we have to take a serious approach that involves transforming our economy and energy sources. This is why I will fight for a Green New Deal in Rhode Island that: - Guarantees clean air and water for all our communities - Puts us on a path towards 100% renewable energy by 2030 - Retrofits/Repairs our public schools and public buildings with 21st century infrastructure - Invests in renewable energy sources across our state at an affordable rate (Solar, Wind, and Hydropower) - Creates thousands of well-paying unionized jobs through the rapid creation of renewable energy infrastructure, building improvements, and investments in public transportation




Moratorium on Fossil Fuel Development


Environmental hazards do not belong in anyone’s neighborhood. Unfortunately, fossil fuel development, power plants, and commercial facilities that produce high levels of air pollution are often placed in low-income communities (with little input from the public). The South Side of Providence is a prime example of this as there have been countless facilities emitting high levels of air pollution which have been proposed and often times, approved. As a result, these communities have been disportionately affected by asthma and other respiratory health issues.
Although our neighborhood has been fortunate to avoid these fossil fuel development projects, we must stand in solidarity with all our communities across the state. Your zip-code should not determine your public health and this is why I will fight to place a moratorium on all fossil fuel development.




Clean Water for our Community


About one of every six Providence Water customers have service lines made of lead and most are located in our city. All of our neighbors deserve clean water and it is an urgent issue we have to address. After all, exposure to lead can damage a child's nervous system, causing learning disabilities, impaired hearing, and inhibited growth. Therefore, I will advocate for public investment towards repairing our water-service infrastructure.