Submissions are welcome – send to [email protected]. The last day to submit an opinion column (or letters to the editor) about the Nov. 8 election is Oct. 25, two weeks before election day (11/8).
By Rosemary Stitt
We all make choices in life, some of which matter a lot less than others. But as we approach the election, more so than ever, we need to make informed choices for the good of both our community, East Greenwich, and our state.
Justine Caldwell has been our representative in the Rhode Island State House since 2018 – we’ve elected her twice and we need to elect her again. She’s very honest, is definitely intelligent (she’s a former college professor), is extremely hard-working and, just as importantly, she collaborates to get things done for our community
Justine, her husband and family – she has two children aged 10 and 7 – live, and go to school, in East Greenwich. She grew up in Warwick and in many ways might appear to be “an ordinary mom” except that, in between everything else that raising a family entails, Justine has thrown herself all into representing East Greenwich’s interests as a legislator in the Rhode Island Sate House. She’s true to her word, she committed to our community and she’s delivered on many fronts.
- The MedRecycler, the medical waste facility proposed for Division Road, would have jeopardized our health and safety, as well as affected property values. Collaborating with residents from across the aisle, Justine fought to pass a law that prohibited the state from granting MedRecycler a permit. This was a hard fight against special interests with deep pockets but the law stopped the project.
- She’s a proponent for public schools and secured additional funding on top of the amount allotted based on the state’s funding formula. This was the second time in four years that additional funds have been secured; this was achieved by Justine working together with EG town and school officials to speak with one voice to the state about why East Greenwich deserved more.
- Justine understands the reality of financial pressures faced by working families and retirees. She supported elimination of the car tax, implemented a $250 child tax credit for each child, increased state income tax exemptions on retirement income and eliminated state income tax on veterans’ pensions. These measures go some way to offset cost-of-living increases and inflation by returning real money back into your pocket.
- From the start, Justine promised to be a strong voice for common-sense gun laws and for gun violence prevention. She came through on that too – in June, following a series of horrific school shootings in various other states, the bill that Justine sponsored to ban high-capacity magazines, was passed into law by Rhode Island’s legislators. Guns sold in Rhode Island are now limited to 10 rounds – before, guns with capacity of 100 rounds were legally sold. The law does not take away the right to own a gun, however it helps to limit the potential for carnage if a mass-shooting was to occur in our state; it’s also important to stress that the state’s law enforcement community voiced very strong support for this measure.
- In 2019, shortly after her first-term began, Justine was one of the legislators who supported the protections of Roe vs. Wade becoming law in Rhode Island. This means that in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in June to strike down Roe vs. Wade, Rhode Islanders are exempt from the awful choices now faced by some women in states where Roe vs. Wade is not enshrined into state law.
I urge you to vote for Justine again on Nov. 8. She’s proven that she works hard to represent the interests of the East Greenwich community in the State House, and she’ll continue to deliver on her word.
Rosemary Stitt lives in East Greenwich.