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Editorial & Opinion

Shanna Wells – RI Democratic Party should stop stifling the voices of women and people of color!



It seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force.”
– Alexander Hamilton

Here in Rhode Island, force by men seems to be the driving principle in the Democratic Party, and it is no accident. At a time when Democrats should be offering an alternative to the lies, hate, and dishonesty of the other side, the Rhode Island Democratic leadership is proving themselves to be every bit as corrupt.

They have left women behind legislatively by killing bills such as pay equity, abortion rights, sexual harassment in the workplace, extending statute of limitations for victims of sexual abuse, and a gun-ban on school grounds.

They subvert the democratic process by refusing to bring bills forward, or basing their votes on emotion, personal religious beliefs, and political expediency rather than on evidence-based facts and the wishes of a clear majority of citizens.

Now the Rhode Island Democratic leadership are actively trying to kill women’s and People of Color’s campaigns. How else can one explain their behavior of:

  • Endorsing know Trump supporter and lifelong Republican, Michael Earnhart, over incumbent representative Moira Walsh (District 3)
  • Endorsing a white, conservative female candidate over Black female incumbent, Representative Marcia Ranglin-Vassel (District 5)
  • Endorsing Mark McKenny over incumbent Senator Jeanine Calkin (District 30)
  • Endorsing former representative John Carnevale, who lost his seat due to lying about where he lived and is currently under indictment because of it, over incumbent Ramon Perez (District 13).
  • When has it ever been the practice for a party to ignore incumbents?

It has long been known that Republicans don’t win in Rhode Island, so just about everyone runs as a Democrat. This dilutes the party, forcing it further to the right than it would be if candidates were honest, and ran as actual Republicans. Further, it stifles the voices of those needing to change the system because it doesn’t adequately represent them.

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  • 51 percent of Rhode Islanders are women,
  • Democratic women outnumber men 57 percent to 43 percent, yet,
  • Seventy percent of the Rhode Island legislature is male, 88 percent is white,
  • 100 percent of Rhode Island Democratic Party leadership is exclusively male,
  • The House Speaker and Senate President gate-keep which bills will be heard, avoiding bills they know are contentious, or with which they do not agree.

If Democrats want to claim the moral high ground, then they need to actually be moral. They should stop just talking about the big tent, and actually build one. Stop stifling the voices of Women and People of Color!

See also:

Rhode Island Democratic Party Chair endorses Trump supporter over incumbent Moira Walsh

Bridget Valverde – My opponent is “unfit to represent our district, and completely unworthy of our party’s endorsement”

Democratic Party endorses Representative Marcia Ranglin-Vassell’s anti-choice opponent