Election 2012: East Providence House candidates answer why they should be elected
With the 2012 Primary Election just days away, the East Providence Post and eastprovri.com concludes this portion of our coverage with one last, direct question to the candidates on the ballot Tuesday, Sept. 11, for State House of Representative Districts 63 and 65. The same 250-word, no-edit-for-content policy remained in effect.
The Post: Why should you be elected?
Robert Britto, Democratic candidate: “As a first time democratic candidate, what ignited my desire to run for this position are the problems our city is facing. Our property taxes continue to escalate while property value decreases and at the same time, our sewage and water taxes continue to rise at an unprecedented rate. As a father of four and property owner, I have a vested interest in this community. I have lived in East Providence for 15 years, 10 of which in the Rumford section. Like most, I am not a politician. I am a frustrated tax payer who decided to do one of two things, either complain about the problems we have in this city and state or throw my hat in the ring to try to make a difference in the community. I opted for the second option. If elected, I will fight for state funding for our schools, I will fight to maintain taxes at the current level and I will fight to keep East Providence residents in East Providence and not to up-root their families to neighboring states. Small businesses are the key to our economic development and the driving force to boost our economy. As a small business owner, I will support business friendly tax regulations and economic development initiatives. I would appreciate your support on September 11, 2012. Let your voice be heard.”
Katherine Kazarian, Democratic candidate: ”As a lifelong resident of the City of East Providence and a recent graduate of Columbia University, I possess both the commitment and education necessary to represent my city well in Rhode Island’s General Assembly.
“I dedicated my campaign to walking door to door throughout District 63 in order to hear what my neighbors, the taxpayers of East Providence, have to say about our current state of affairs. Each and every individual I spoke with helped me develop a fuller understanding of what our district needs from its next State Representative. Our citizens require a State Representative who will work tirelessly to stretch their tax dollars further, invest in education and, most importantly, generate jobs. Using my economics background, I will encourage our state to adopt sound and effective financial policies and practices that will sustain us in the future. I seek to find a balance between the needs of our citizens and the responsibilities of our government.
“East Providence deserves to be represented by someone who is educated, energetic and enthusiastic. I believe I am that person. The one promise I can make to the people of East Providence is that I will give my all to help solve its problems, both current and future. I am the fresh voice that our city needs.”
Sam Lovett, Democratic candidate: “I offer East Providence homegrown representation by an individual with experience in state government, an innovative skill-set, and a drive to help his city succeed. The issues we face today are not two-dimensional challenges, but rather complex interconnected issues that require someone who is committed to thinking critically about big picture decision-making and how the decisions of our leadership have far reaching effects. I know from having experienced this state’s civic strengths first-hand how important it is to support them: schools and teachers, public transportation, emergency responders, healthcare professionals, and job creators. East Providence needs someone who is uniquely capable to commit to the due diligence of assessing our challenges, understanding our strengths, and making decisions that support a bright future not on an issue-to-issue basis, but holistically. I believe I can be that representative who speaks for the entire district.
“If you are looking for someone who is excited about East Providence, who takes a community approach to government, who will be with you when you are down and celebrate with you when you succeed, who will support your business and ask how the state can do better by you, who takes social issues seriously, who will be in the schools promoting programs and supporting students, who can improve the quality of our government and cut its costs, who will do these things in order to come together and capitalize on opportunities for a stronger future, then I ask you to help support this vision on September 11th.”
Charlie Tsonos, Democratic candidate: “I have faced some of life’s greatest challenges and I have succeeded. I have faced huge odds in my endeavors and I have overcome those odds. In the the most difficult economic era of our history, I have kept a small business alive and well. I know first hand the problems of small business in the worst economy in this Country, because I have had to make adjustments in order to succeed. Major Corporations are not moving to RI. We must strengthen the small business community, something that has not been done by the current establishment. 38 Studios ?
“I have served in our nation’s military for over 25 years and achieved the rank of Lt Colonel, providing leadership and being able to focus on creating solutions to unprecedented problems. My military background gives real world experience in organization and decision making, which are necessary when facing the daunting problems in RI, such as worst unemployment in the Country and worst business climate. The time is over for ‘business as usual.’
“I will take an active role in our future and our children’s future with immediate action. RI and its cities are on a cliff, but we can strengthen our existing small business community and put our labor force to work by (1) creating a proactive ‘EDC’, with 3 levels of support for existing small businesses, (2) reducing taxes by cutting State administrative spending, consolidating wherever possible at top levels, and (3) reallocating resources to where they are needed the most, in the classrooms and at the ground level of services for those with the greatest need.
“I lost my Dru to cancer in 1988. Everyone who knew Dru, knew what a wonderful person she was. Our 4 children and I perservered through some very difficult times. In 1988, they were ages 6-11 and their needs were my first priority. Today, they are all successful, strong individuals, living in RI. I am the most proud of our children. We cannot remain the worst state in the country. We must take action in order to save our State, rebuild our tax base, put our labor force to work.”
Gregg Amore, Democratic candidate: “I have always taught my students that their American citizenship is their most prized possession but a possession that they must continue to earn. In order to earn that citizenship each of us must serve our community in some way. I am asking the residents of District 65 to honor me with the opportunity to serve them in the Rhode Island General Assembly. "While I make no policy promises, I can assure the residents of East Providence that, if elected, I will work as hard as I can each day to make our city and state a better place to live. I will always tell the truth, treat people with respect and never embarrass the people that I represent. This is how I have conducted myself during my 24 years as a public school teacher and coach and this is how I will conduct myself as a State Representative. "I do not pretend to have all of the answers and I know that there are no “silver bullet” solutions to the problems we face. However, I do believe that good public policy, crafted in a thoughtful and deliberate manner, can improve the lives of Rhode Islanders. I believe that I have the educational background, ethical standards and skill set to help craft policy that will provide long term benefits to our city and state. "No matter the outcome of the election, I have thoroughly enjoyed walking the neighborhoods of East Providence and meeting so many good people. I would like to thank those good people for sharing their ideas and concerns and allowing me to share mine.”
Tim Chapman, Democratic candidate: “After walking the whole district and knocking on hundreds of doors I have been asked the above question repeatedly. My answer has always been a simple one, ‘because I care about my city and its future.’I have lived here my entire life. I went to school here, played sports here and I am raising my children here. I have as big a stake in the success of this place as anybody.
“The folks I have spoken with on their doorsteps are clear as day about what they want and don’t want. People want the streets plowed and the grass cut. They want the police or the ambulance to come if there is a problem. They also would like to see more of their neighbors having jobs. What their DON’T want are more taxes and fees for every little thing they need from the city or state. People want to pay their bills and mortgages, educate their kids and be left alone. What they DON’T want is to keep tapping their savings just to get along. WHAT THEY ARE TELLING ME IS TO PROTECT THEIR POCKETBOOKS.
“I have heard what they have said, I understand and I agree. If you will consider supporting me on Election Day what I promise in return is not to forget the message. The polls open on September 11th at 7:00 am. I’ll be voting and I hope you will be too.”
Jim Miller, Democratic candidate: “I have the leadership skills and experience to effectively represent the citizens of District 65. I developed leadership skills in the military, and have served this City in public service for 22 years in the Highway Department and as an Emergency Dispatcher. These skills have proved invaluable whether for road work or emergency dispatch during a personal or public emergency. I have excelled and proven myself to the citizens of East Providence through the years — twice receiving the American Legion Award for Outstanding Public Service.
“I am a third-generation Townie, a father and grandfather and am deeply entrenched in this community and am committed to making it better. I’ve worked very hard to improve this City; bringing in Rebuilding Together, organizing the Labor Day Parade at no cost to the taxpayer - to name a few of many civic initiatives. Over these weeks, I have stood in thousands of driveways sharing thoughts on how to better our community. People want someone going to bat for them that is actually one of them -- and not aligned to special interests or political insiders. They want a fearless advocate with the courage to fight for them. I believe I am that person.
“I believe in leaving our community better for our children and grandchildren – not worse. I am a dedicated public servant, and am committed to creating a better future. My work history, work ethic, civic commitment, and proven leadership are the reasons why I am the best candidate for State Representative District 65.”
Editor's Notes: In the Sept. 6 print edition of The Post, Mr. Amore's response differs from the one here due an email error; the response of Mr. Rose also does not appear due to an email error; and after calls to the number provided and a visit to his listed home address, both provided by the Canvassing Department, The Post was unable to contact Ward 3 candidate Daniel Dalton throughout the primary campaign.