Guest MINDSETTER™ Gregg Amore: Why I’m Running for State Rep.
Saturday, July 14, 2012
My father met John Kennedy in 1960 and for as long as I can remember he relished in telling the story of how he shook his hand and patted him on the back. My father passed away in 2008 and I know that until his last day he lamented the fact that the nation was robbed, on that fateful day in Dallas, of a true leader with unlimited potential.
My father’s Kennedy devotion led me to read everything I could find on John Fitzgerald Kennedy and I continue to read everything new that is written on the nation’s 35th president. The constant theme that runs through most of these works is not associated with foreign or domestic policy in particular, but a call to public service. Kennedy inspired Americans to serve their communities and their country and cliché as that may sound in this day and age, I truly believe in public service and that is what has led me to run for a seat in the Rhode Island General Assembly.
I also believe that good public policy can improve the lives of Rhode Islanders and that it must be crafted in a deliberate and thoughtful manner that considers all stakeholders and all segments of our population. While I acknowledge, accept, and admire the role of the rugged individualist in American society, I know that we all do better when we have a collective mindset that ensures that we are looking out for our neighbor and not abandoning them in their time of need.
There is no doubt that there has been mismanagement, waste, and a lack of foresight in crafting some aspects of collective bargaining agreements at the local and state level, but the greatest burden on our distressed cities and towns is that the state has shifted far too much of the burden from the collective Rhode Island tax base to the taxpayers in cities and towns that can least afford it. Some of those cities and towns are literally being crushed under the weight of this shift and their property tax payers can no longer bear it.
Instead of crafting a fair broad based state tax system and a fairer school funding formula, we have fallen victim to a narrative that scapegoats public employees and ignores the perfect storm that has placed us in our current state. That’s not good policy, its demagoguery.
I am all for streamlining the business regulatory process and engaging in business friendly economic policy which must include serious infrastructure improvements and a focus on keeping the enormous talent pool that exists at our state’s colleges and universities, in our state. More importantly, we have to invest in our community college and create a curriculum that serves the needs of Rhode Island business. There are burgeoning programs all over the United States that bring together industry and community colleges in order to meet the labor needs of these businesses. This is the direction we must follow.
My daughter Tess is 13 and my daughter Megan is 10 and I want them to be able to stay in this beautiful state where their family has prospered for generations. In order for that to happen, good people have to step up and heed the calling to public service.
Gregg Amore is a Democratic candidate for State Rep. in District 65 (East Providence).