Letter to the Editor as submitted to the Providence Journal and Newport Daily News on 8-30-18
I am writing to set the record straight regarding last week’s announcement made by the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce’s (GPCC) Political Action Committee and their support of candidates for public office. I called the GPCC’s executive director Laurie White to ask about their endorsement process and was told that their announcement did not constitute an endorsement as the GPCC does not endorse candidates, but rather a list of candidates they support. In most cases their support came with a $1K campaign contribution, this sounds much like an endorsement.
In their announcement, they claim that their candidates understand the challenges of running a “neighborhood business” and align with their view on “local economic development and jobs”. Had they bothered to contact me or make any attempt to get to know me they would have learned that not only am I a board member on the Newport County Chamber of Commerce, I also own and operate a local small business that employs people and contributes to our local economy.
My business is one of the 30% of women owned businesses in Rhode Island. I have served on Portsmouth’s Economic Development committee, and am currently vice chair of the Tank Farm Redevelopment Advisory Committee in Portsmouth, the committee working with the town planner and the Navy that will oversee future development of Tank Farms 1 & 2 in Portsmouth. I have organized an informal working group of all the businesses located in the Melville Marina District and set up meetings with local, state and Navy officials to address the issues presented by the Navy’s desire to relinquish ownership of Burma and Stringham Roads.
If you look at the list of donors to the GPCC’s PAC they are mostly large corporate donors. They do not represent small business, or the people of Portsmouth and Middletown and they clearly know nothing about me, my track record, or what I stand for.
I am disappointed with my colleagues at the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, and the lack of transparency in their “non-endorsement” process. It is important that the residents in District 72 know that I am running to bring greater transparency and accountability to the State House.
Candidate, State Representative District 72
serving Middletown and Portsmouth
Chair, Portsmouth School Committee
Owner, Ocean Link, Inc
47 Mary Lane, Portsmouth