FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Liz Gledhill, Chair
RI Democratic Women's Caucus Supports Liana Cassar for Speaker
NOVEMBER 4, 2020, PROVIDENCE, RI] - The time for women to lead is now. The voters have spoken, and they want a change. Rhode Islanders deserve a state legislature that operates as a true democracy--and serves all of us. One that looks like us, and one that represents 51% of our population. The House has the chance to usher in the kind of leadership that our state can take pride in: a Speaker with integrity, a Speaker willing to collaborate, and a Speaker willing to work on behalf of the people. Representative Liana Cassar will bring integrity to our House chamber and bring our legislature into the 2021 session with a fresh, honest perspective. The 2020 election results bring change to Rhode Island, and with these changes great possibilities. Back-door deals, strong-arming, and cronyism have long been the way our State House has been run. The official vote for Speaker of the House traditionally takes place in January on the first day of the new legislative session. However, within days of the November election State House leadership has been chosen through a rushed, pressure-filled open vote at a private Democratic caucus meeting often held at a restaurant in leadership’s home turf. Is this what democracy looks like? We demand transparency in the process to choose our state’s next Speaker of the House of Representatives. We demand leadership who will allow our Representatives from around the state to truly represent the viewpoints of their constituents. We demand that bills come to the floor through a democratic process and Representatives are free to vote on them without fear of retribution. We demand leadership who will choose the Chairpersons of committees because they are best suited for the positions, not politically motivated. We demand a State House that works with the people and for the people. The General Assembly has the opportunity to elect a leader who is unafraid to lead in this time of crisis. Frontline workers struggling to make ends meet have the chance to be represented by a Speaker who believes in safe staffing and will support a livable wage for some of Rhode Islands most valuable workforce. People deserving of a true reproductive justice and healthcare champion will no longer have to fear the convictions of an anti-choice, healthcare-for-some Speaker. Women and BIPOC Rhode Islanders who are bearing the brunt of the economic crisis have reason to be hopeful they will have a Speaker who can relate. Barbara Ann Fenton-Fung’s win in House District 15 echoes the sentiments of residents across Rhode Island: the reign of corrupt leadership in our State House is over, and the time for women to lead is now. We are calling on the House of Representatives to make the change the voters’ of this state have resoundingly called for them to make. We must reform the corruption in the state legislature. We must not accept old leadership’s suggestion for who is "next in line." Rhode Island deserves strong, competent, fair leadership. We must have Liana Cassar lead us as Speaker of the House.