Investigations

Where did members of the General Assembly land on the Rhode Island Democratic Party bylaws vote?

Not every Democrat elected to the Rhode Island General Assembly is a member of the Rhode Island State Democratic Committee. By my count, 32 of them are. This means that they were able to vote on the controversial new Party bylaws, which were put forth in part to limit the independence, finances and voice of the Rhode Island Democratic Party
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Published on November 20, 2019
By Uprise RI

Not every Democrat elected to the Rhode Island General Assembly is a member of the Rhode Island State Democratic Committee. By my count, 32 of them are. This means that they were able to vote on the controversial new Party bylaws, which were put forth in part to limit the independence, finances and voice of the Rhode Island Democratic Party Women’s Caucus. You can read about the conduct of the Rhode Island Democratic Party (RIDP) and the way the vote fell, here.

But how did our elected members of the General Assembly, who are also members of the State Committee, vote? Did they support an open, transparent process that respects women, or did they go along with a party leadership who sees the Women’s Caucus as an obstacle to their continued power?

In general, those political close to Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello, voted in favor of the new bylaws. Those who tend to oppose Mattiello and the present state of the RIDP, voted against the bylaws.


Here’s a list of all those who voted in favor of the bylaws:

  • Representative Christopher Blazejewski (Democrat, District 2, Providence)
  • Representative Anastasia Williams (Democrat, District 9, Providence)
  • Representative Scott Slater (Democrat, District 10, Providence)
  • Representative Grace Diaz (Democrat, District 11, Providence)
  • Representative Charlene Lima (Democrat, District 14, Cranston)
  • Representative Joseph McNamara (Democrat, District 19, Warwick)
  • Representative Evan Shanley (Democrat, District 24, Warwick)
  • Representative Patricia Serpa (Democrat, District 27, West Warwick)
  • Representative Brian Patrick Kennedy (Democrat, District 38, Westerly, Hopkinton)
  • Representative Michael Morin (Democrat, District 49, Woonsocket)
  • Representative Stephen Casey (Democrat, District 50, Woonsocket)
  • Representative Robert Phillips (Democrat, District 51, Woonsocket)
  • Representative William O’Brien (Democrat, District 54, North Providence)
  • Representative Arthur Corvese (Democrat, District 55, North Providence)
  • Representative Karen Alzate (Democrat, District 60, Pawtucket)
  • Representative Raymond Johnston (Democrat, District 61, Pawtucket)
  • Representative Gregg Amore (Democrat, District 65, East Providence)
  • Representative John Edwards (Democrat, District 70, Tiverton)
  • Representative Marvin Abney (Democrat, District 73, Newport)
  • Senator Louis DiPalma (Democrat, District 12, Little Compton, Middletown, Newport, Tiverton)

Here’s a list of all those who voted against the bylaws:

  • Representative Edith Ajello (Democrat, District 1, Providence)
  • Representative Moira Walsh (Democrat, District 3, Providence)
  • Representative Lauren Carson (Democrat, District 75, Newport)
  • Representative Kathleen Fogarty (Democrat, District 35, South Kingstown)
  • Senator Samuel Bell (Democrat, District 5, Providence)
  • Senator Donna Nesselbush (Democrat, District 15, Pawtucket)

Here’s a list of General Assembly members who could have voted but did not attend the meeting:

  • Representative Gregory Costantino (Democrat, District 44, Lincoln)
  • Representative Susan Donovan (Democrat, District 69, Bristol)
  • Representative Deborah Ruggiero (Democrat, District 74, Jamestown)
  • Senator Maryellen Goodwin (Democrat, District 1, Providence)
  • Senator Ana Quezada (Democrat, District 2, Providence)
  • Senator Joshua Miller (Democrat, District 28, Cranston)

Here are the vote tallies, as provided by the Rhode Island Democratic Party:

Edits: This piece initially failed to list Representative Jay Edwards among the “yes” votes. Representative Gregory Constantino was a no show. Rose Lang Maso voted no, and is listed as not voting, an error on the forms from the RIDP.


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