Staff from the East Bay Media Group, parent company of The Post, recently held a Q&A with a number of candidates in the 2022 General Election, including Democrat Jennifer Boylan and Independent …
Staff from the East Bay Media Group, parent company of The Post, recently held a Q&A with a number of candidates in the 2022 General Election, including Democrat Jennifer Boylan and Independent Samuel Read who are running in the race for State Representative District 66 comprising Barrington/East Providence.
The seat is vacant following the retirement of two-term incumbent Democrat Lianna Cassar.
The Q&A was as follows:
Do you support the state legislation calling for the repurposing of vacant and unused school buildings for affordable housing?
Sam Read (I) — “This type of decision should be made by municipalities and voters. The people that live in a community should have a say in what happens to the land around them. So no, I do not support this legislation as it allows the State to take control over a community.”
Jennifer Boylan (D) — “All municipalities have the right to determine what they do with their own property. Even with this new law, municipalities still maintain full control of their properties with zero obligation to redevelop. In light of our statewide housing shortage, this law is one way to increase housing stock in RI.”
What differentiates you from the other candidates?
Boylan (D) — “I am a proven, experienced community leader who’s been regularly attending the statehouse for a decade, testifying, advocating, organizing, and building coalitions to pass better laws. I have professional experience as an environmental scientist and with small business. I have real world experience as a parent, elder caregiver, and taxpayer.”
Read (I) — “Running as an Independent in RI is a big step and it starts right here. We need independent voices who will listen to everyone they represent. Politics-as-usual is not working for this state anymore; I will bring a fresh perspective and pave the way for effective government.”
Would you like to see any changes made to Rhode Island’s gun laws?
Read (I) — “I support further common-sense gun legislation for our state. In light of the most recent changes to gun laws in the state, we now need to focus on school safety as well as increased mental health resources.”
Boylan (D) — “I spent 10 years visiting the state house to advocate for better gun laws with Moms Demand Action. We should require that firearms be securely stored when not in possession of their owner. We should ban assault weapons which are common in mass shootings and make shootings more lethal.”
How will you help local businesses?
Boylan (D) — “I help run a small business and know their challenges. Expanding programs like Work Immersion Training Grants would facilitate hiring. Collaboration with colleges/universities should connect graduates to jobs. Resources of RI Commerce Corporation should be leveraged and made accessible to businesses with collaborative programming offered in the East Bay.”
Read (I) — “With my experience as Secretary of the Board for the RI Small Business Coalition, I will stand up for our local businesses by ensuring the state doesn’t get in the way, and advocating for smarter government such as eliminating the corporate minimum tax.”
How would you make the East Bay better?
Read (I) — “We need to focus on keeping residents from being priced-out of the community. Increased tax burdens are hurting older residents. Additionally, I will push for enhanced infrastructure to improve the walkability and pedestrian safety of the East Bay, which will also support our local businesses.”
Boylan (D) — “A top priority is expedited replacement of our bike path bridges. Sea level rise is a major challenge for the East Bay; I will do all I can to prepare our communities to be more resilient and expand access to renewable energy solutions with things like rebates and infrastructure expansion.”
Boylan and Read also took part in a forum sponsored by EBMG and the League of Women Voters Rhode Island. View the forum at the League’s website https://my.lwv.org/rhode-island, “2022 Candidate Forum Videos” section.