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Guest MINDSETTER™ Anthony Giarrusso: Why I’m Running for State Rep.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012


Another study came out recently, this one ranking Rhode Island last in the nation in business competitiveness.

There are many different rankings to look at, and all look at different things. But in far too many of them, our Rhode Island ranks near the bottom. This seems to me to send a pretty alarming and unambiguous signal. Clearly, doing the same old thing will not get us very far, and if nothing changes, nothing changes.

My parents, my four brothers, and I came from humble roots in Vieste, Italy to this great country in 1966. A focus on family and hard work were instinctive to me. By the time I was eight I started working at a as a paper boy in my Smith Hill neighborhood in Providence. I soon learned the benefits that came with good service and paying attention to customers, and I came to understand the consequences of poor service, and inattention. I’ve never forgotten these lessons.

After working my way through high school and college, I focused on learning everything I could about business in several subsequent jobs in the jewelry industry. Finally, in 1986, my brothers and I decided to start our own small manufacturing company, and gradually built it into the company it is today: a national distribution with over 100 employees.

Ours is a Rhode Island success story, the result of long days of hard work and personal sacrifice. I am the man I am today because of my family, and the lessons learned in starting, growing and continuously improving this business. We have been fortunate to have made more good decisions than bad. Our success is rooted in all the things a successful business – or government – must do: Encouraging teamwork. Managing growth and controlling spending. Doing quality work, on time and on budget. Earning customer trust and satisfaction. Winning employee loyalty by providing job security and practicing fairness. Continually reinvesting. And knowing when to cut back on “frills” to keep the business going during tough times.

As the company grew, so did my own family and my responsibilities to them. I’m married to the love of my life, Janet, and have three sons and a daughter. My life has been full with family and the ability to support them, all thanks to the opportunities and liberties afforded to me since my arrival in the United States.

I’m running for public office for the first time in my life, because I feel a responsibility to assure that other Rhode Islanders have the same opportunities and liberties that I have had. To do that, we need to restore Rhode Island as a place where our children excel in our public schools and stay here to live and work. We need to restore Rhode Island as a place where business wants to invest again, and create the jobs our children will need. And we need to restore confidence in government and start managing, dealing aggressively with excessive debt, irresponsible promises and a confusion of priorities.

At minimum, we all need to believe in Rhode Island again. We need to change our mindset from “We Can’t” to “We Can.” Doing these things is the only way to get Rhode Island on top, and getting a chance to get them done is the fundamental reason I am running.

Anthony Giarrusso is a Republican candidate for State Rep. in District 30.


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