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Matt Brown supporters rally to ‘Take Back Rhode island’

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Rhode Island gubernatorial candidate Matt Brown, who is challenging incumbent Governor Gina Raimondo in the Democratic Primary this Wednesday, September 12, is walking across Rhode Island, from Woonsocket to Narragansett to spread his election message, but he stopped in Burnside Park in downtown Providence to hold his “Take Back Rhode Island” rally. Over 150 people attended.

Brown was preceded on stage by Justice Gaines, candidate for Providence City Council Ward 1 and Rhode Island State Senator Jeanine Calkin (Democrat, District 3, Warwick).

“Against all odds, against millions of dollars in corporate money from around the country, against the American political establishment, being outspent 14 to 1… four days out from the election, we are tied and on the verge of a major political upset,” said Brown to the cheering crowd. “In response, a week or so ago, Governor Raimondo began, from what I’ve heard from many Rhode Islanders… the single most negative campaign they have ever seen….

“They have so much extra money they send the flyers to me too,” said Brown, to laughter.

“I don’t think that Democracy is hiding behind millions of dollars in corporate money and false, negative attacks and refusing to do one debate with your opponent. Democracy is getting out and talking to voters about whatever they want to talk about… It’s about the issues they’re concerned about,” said Brown. “It’s about their lives and what we can do to help them solve the challenges they’re facing…”


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“For too long corporate interests have been valued more than the people of Rhode Island and that’s not okay,” said Andrea Gomez, a field organizer with the Matt Brown campaign, who emceed the event. “It’s time to take back our state!”

“For me, what an economy has to look like that works for the people is making sure our workers are getting living wages,” said Justice Gaines, candidate for Providence City Council Ward 1, in amazing speech. “Making sure our rents and our mortgages are not cost burdening our residents…

“When I think about what it means to be a candidate in today’s age and the age of this federal administration it means that for me we have to fortify locally,” continued Gaines. “We have to fortify as a state and we have to fortify as a city to make sure that the damage coming from the federal government does not impact our residents. We have to protect all of our residents: whether they’re undocumented, whether they’re poor whether they’re queer or trans whether they’re women. We have to make sure that we are protecting all of our residents because we know that’s not gonna happen from the national level…  ”

“I really appreciate having somebody who’s going to be on our side not on the side of corporate lobbyists or the corporations,” said Rhode Island State Senator Jeanine Calkin (Democrat, District 3, Warwick). “It’s time that we have somebody who stands up for a $15 minimum wage. No one in this country should have to work 40 hours a week and live in poverty. No one should have to choose between putting food on their table for their children and taking two or three jobs.

“We need a governor that’s going to stand up for the fossil fuel industry and say, “I’m not going to take your money. We are gonna stop that power facility.

“I was sick and tired of what was going on in our politics here in Rhode Island and I ran for office to try to be a voice for the people and that’s what I see in Matt.”

“Over the summer I had three jobs so that I could save up enough so that I could buy textbooks,” said University of Rhode Island student Yanine Castedo. “Then I have to choose if want to buy these really expensive textbooks or if I want to be able to eat good this week because sometimes work isn’t enough. Summer jobs aren’t enough and maybe it’s not that I need to have three jobs but maybe I need to be paid more for my work…”

Here’s the rest of the video:


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Steve Ahlquist is a frontline reporter in Rhode Island. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for nearly a decade. atomicsteve@gmail.com