2008-10-16 / Letters to the Editor

Candidates explain civics to student

We would like to thank Karen Montoya, the Board of Canvasser's Clerk, Arlene Petit, the town clerk, and the candidates for the Rhode Island General Assembly for providing a hands-on lesson in civics.

The candidates took the time to speak to seventh and eighth grade students of Lawn Avenue School. Each candidate spoke about why he or she was seeking office.

Representative Bruce Long emphasized his commitment to meeting the needs of his constituents through bi-partisan efforts and his responsiveness to constituent concerns.

Deb Ruggiero, the challenger for the House seat, emphasized her desire to give back to her community by using her experience to build economic opportunities.

Senator Teresa Paiva Weed explained the difference between senators and representatives and the need for balancing needs for providing health care with the challenges of raising money to pay for state aid programs.

Donna Perry, the challenger for the Senate seat emphasized a need for change in the face of the state budget crisis and modeling responsible civic engagement for her daughter.

The candidates then took questions from the students regarding the state budget crisis and pollution.

This event would not have been possible without the generous support of Montoya and Petit. They facilitated the forum by providing information regarding the steps of candidacy, sample ballots, hosting a mock election and reserving the room at town hall where students could meet with the candidates. The combined efforts of the candidates and town employees engaged students in the electoral process. Thank you again to all who participated.

Maureen McGuirl Jamestown School

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