“Now is the time to act. Act with compassion. Act with courage. Act with a sense of duty to the people and love for our neighbors…“
On Thursday, District 22 State Senatorial candidate (Smithfield, North Providence, Johnston) Melanie DuPont called upon the Rhode Island General Assembly to remove the personal barriers preventing them from adopting video-conferencing technologies. She urged them to resume conducting Rhode Island’s business from their homes as soon as possible.
“I understand that some Senators and Representatives lack the computers, internet access, and training needed to work from home,” said DuPont. “These obstacles are surmountable. And leadership must insist that each member try to meet online, so they can discuss and decide what new rules can be adopted.”
DuPont further called on the General Assembly to draft and pass, without delay, guarantees that will ensure continuous healthcare, housing, food, and income to Rhode Islanders throughout the pandemic and beyond. She called for a living wage to reward the hard work of service employees, an eviction moratorium, and direct aid to small businesses.
“With unemployment skyrocketing, now is the time for our lawmakers to turn care and compassion into law. Each Rhode Islander deserves to know that the General Assembly won’t abandon us in a crisis. With guarantees from the State that we won’t lose our health, savings, homes, and lives, we’ll be able to stand strong against this virus. Without those guarantees, we’re lost.”
DuPont’s statements amplify the calls to action found in the Rescue and Recovery petition circulated online by the Rhode Island Political Cooperative. That petition calls for, among other things, “free hospital beds, ventilators, and ICU units for everyone who needs them” and “unemployment insurance that provides workers who lose their jobs with 100 percent of their previous income without delay, on a weekly basis, up to $75,000 per year.”
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“Courageous decisions must be made to sustain the wellbeing of the people. Tens of thousands of workers across Rhode Island are proving that these decisions can be made by teams working from home. Now it’s time for the General Assembly to take action from home.”
On Wednesday, in an online campaign event hosted by Zoom, DuPont said to supporters, “Now is the time to act. Act with compassion. Act with courage. Act with a sense of duty to the people and love for our neighbors. There are real solutions to many problems out there. We can’t wish away this virus. But we can put in the work to make a happier, healthier future.” The candidate has committed to holding weekly, virtual events to address the issues that are affecting her district.