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Senator Mendes holds rally ahead of second night outside RI State House

“We know that the moral will to make it happen has never been evident [at the State House],” said Senator Mendes. “They will only do it with public pressure and under a unified voice about what our values are. They have shown us who they are, and now we’re going to show them who we are.”
Photo for Senator Mendes holds rally ahead of second night outside RI State House

Published on December 2, 2021
By Steve Ahlquist

Rhode Island State Senator Cynthia Mendes’ protest doubled in size on the second night, with 13 people sleeping in tents overnight outside on Rhode Island State House grounds. On the first night of her protest there were six people.

Ahead of her second night Senator Cynthia Mendes (Democrat, District 18, East Providence) held a rally with over 50 people in attendance in which she reiterated her call for state leaders, especially Speaker of the House Joseph Shekarchi and Governor Daniel McKee, to take the issue of homelessness seriously and spend some of the American Rescue Plan Act funds, over $1b, to save people from sleeping outside in places “unfit for human habitation.”

New numbers indicate that in the last 30 days 456 Rhode Islanders spent at least one night outside. The 14 day number is lower, at 268 people spending at least one night outside. These numbers are lower than the 650 people number we were seeing earlier, probably due to the opening of the Nylo Hotel in Warwick and some winter shelter beds being made available.

The protest continues tonight at 5pm outside the State House on the Smith Street side.

“We know that the moral will to make it happen has never been evident [at the State House],” said Senator Mendes. “They will only do it with public pressure and under a unified voice about what our values are. They have shown us who they are, and now we’re going to show them who we are.”

Senator Mendes is also a candidate for Lieutenant Governor.

Candidate for Governor Matt Brown, who is running with Senator Mendes, spoke briefly:

Terri Wright, and organizer with Direct Action for Rights and Equality (DARE):


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Homelessness activist Barbara Freitas:

Paula Hudson founder of Better Lives Rhode Island:

Harrison Tuttle, Executive Director of the Black Lives Matter RI PAC:

Woonsocket resident Marlene Guay:

Environmental and social justice organizer Monica Huertas had a particularly emotional story to tell:

Kinverly Dicupe, from the Democratic Socialists of America:

State Senator Jeanine Calkin (Democrat, District 30, Warwick):

Wrapping up:

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