Guest MINDSETTER™ Maura Kelly: Why I’m Running for State Senate
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
I am the aunt to eight amazing kids. They mean the world to me. I recently had the joy of reading my nephew the book The Lorax before bed. The book ends with a warning to the younger generations, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” This message resonates with me and calls me to action and service. I am running for State Senate because WE MUST DO BETTER, and I believe that we need a change of leadership to do so.
I’ve knocked on thousands of doors since I announced my candidacy. In District 5, we are small business owners who feel crushed by the inflated property tax burden. We are parents who desperately want a diversity of excellent public school options for our children. We are young entrepreneurs and activists who struggle to find jobs and create viable businesses that can sustain us. We are a diverse people united by a love of this city, a craving for change, and elected officials that we can trust. The more engaged I have become in the politics of this state, the more I am convinced that we aren’t going to move forward if we don’t elect new leadership.
We have one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, one out of three children in Providence live in Poverty, and we are failing to provide our state’s children with the public education they deserve. We must do better.
I’ll make strengthening our economy, enhancing the quality of our public education system, and leading the charge against public corruption my top priorities.
Small business growth is the key to reviving our economy and lowering unemployment, but high property taxes, endless red tape and lack of investment in public education stifle the growth of local small businesses and leave too many people out of work. We must restore state aid to municipalities for the purpose of property tax relief, and root out unnecessary bureaucracy that impedes our ability to put Rhode Islanders to work.
I work for the Rhode Island Department of Education, and I know that too many of our schools aren’t giving our kids the education they deserve. I will fight for a public education system that empowers all students to lead successful, fulfilling lives regardless of socio-economic background. We need high quality schools to prepare our young people for the future, and to encourage businesses and families to move INTO (not out of!) our neighborhoods.
For too long the General Assembly has been fraught with conflicts of interest and insider dealing. The connection between government transparency and job creation are inseparable – government should serves the public interest by making common sense investments in job creation, not backroom deals to businesses (38 Studios) and individuals with insider connections on Smith Hill. The best thing we can do to make our state business friendly is to send a clear message that we are no longer a state for sale. I will work to pass tough conflict of interest rules for members of the General Assembly, and reform the judicial nominating process, ending the revolving door between the legislative and judicial branches of government.
I began my career working as a community organizer with a focus on helping workers and families advocate for safer streets, better schools and sustainable neighborhoods. Later, my interest in sustainable economic development took me to Point Judith Capital, where I researched green energy alternatives as an innovative driver of economic development and learned what innovative companies and small business need to thrive.
I have a reputation for being gutsy, energetic, enthusiastic, and deeply committed to the challenges that I tackle. I know that together, we’ll right the ship and move our state toward future prosperity. We CAN do better!
Maura Kelly is a candidate for State Senate in Rhode Island District 5. Her website can be found at www.maurakelly.com.
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