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Sunrise, a major factor in progressive primary wins, calls for new leadership in RI General Assembly

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We are building a movement of people ready to fight for our future and hold our leaders accountable, and that starts with new leadership in the General Assembly. Ruggerio and Mattiello are opposed to everything we stand for. They have to go. We’ll remember which Senators and Representatives support them this year, and we’ll primary them in 2022. Politicians who want to stay in office should vote very carefully.”


In the aftermath of a wave of progressive victories unseating Democratic incumbents in the September 8 primaries, Sunrise Rhode Island, a local branch of the national youth-led Sunrise Movement, is calling for new leadership in the General Assembly. “We fought incredibly hard this summer to elect climate justice champions to the State House,” said Rachael Baker, Co-Director of Sunrise’s summer Electoral Field Program. “At door after door, we heard from voters who are ready for change and fed up with state leadership that doesn’t represent their values and interests.”

This summer, Sunrise mobilized 10 full-time Field Fellows and nearly 100 volunteers to contact over 30,000 voters by phone and door-to-door canvassing. The Field Fellows had one-on-one conversations with nearly 5,000 voters, helping to secure primary election victories across the state. 

“Our generation feels the high stakes of the overlapping crises that we’re in,” said Grace Truslow, a high school senior and summer Field Fellow. “We need our leaders at the State House to actually prioritize our health and well-being. It’s time for new leadership that’s not bought out by big corporate donors and the fossil fuel industry.”

The Sunrise Movement is calling for candidates who will advocate for living wages and good jobs, universal healthcare, affordable housing, racial justice, and bold climate action to assume leadership positions throughout the General Assembly. Particularly, the group is calling for a new Senate President and Senator Majority Leader.  

“This year’s primary election showed that the days of powerful men trading favors and making decisions behind closed doors with their corporate lobbyist friends are coming to an end,” said Baker. “We are building a movement of people ready to fight for our future and hold our leaders accountable, and that starts with new leadership in the General Assembly. Ruggerio and Mattiello are opposed to everything we stand for. They have to go. We’ll remember which Senators and Representatives support them this year, and we’ll primary them in 2022. Politicians who want to stay in office should vote very carefully.”


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[From a press release]