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RISC Changes to RI Taxpayers

Monday, February 04, 2013


New name and logo

The statewide taxpayer advocacy group the RI Statewide Coalition, (RISC), unveiled a number major changes including a name change and staffing changes.

"(the changes) are being made in an effort to expand and strengthen its organization, beginning with a simplified name change from the RI Statewide Coalition to RI Taxpayers and its website will now be found at http://www.ritaxpayers.com,"; said the organization in an announcement.

RISC is also announcing a change of leadership and the addition of a visible citizen lobbyist to its ranks. Prominent reformer advocate and Moderate Party founder Ken Block is now officially allied with the group and will serve as its President, filling the void left by former President Harriet Lloyd, who stepped down last year after a decade of helping to build the organization. RISC is also announcing taxpayer advocate Lisa Blais is becoming the official lobbyist for RI Taxpayers at the General Assembly.

“In announcing these changes, we salute the decade of commitment made by outgoing President Harriet Lloyd, who helped us build this into a statewide taxpayer presence,” says RISC founder and longtime Chairman Harry Staley. “I am also excited to see someone with the visibility, energy, and dedication of Ken Block will serve as our new President,” says RISC founder and longtime Chairman Harry Staley.

Ken Block Joins Effort

Ken Block

Executive Director Donna Perry says the liaisons with Ken Block and Lisa Blais are part of an effort to bring stronger unity among good government advocates. “Ken Block partnering with our statewide taxpayer group will greatly enhance our mission. The growing movement to reform the state and bring about greater fairness for the taxpayer will be far more effective if advocates speak with a more unified voice.” Perry says the new alliance with Block is the culmination of many joint efforts in recent years, which have included petitions against Binding Arbitration; supportive efforts at testimony hearings on budgets, and other legislation; and more recently, in his highly visible effort to end the state’s use of the “Master Lever” on the ballot. Perry also emphasizes the benefit of the new role of Lisa Blais: “Lisa brings seasoned experience at the Legislature as a strong and tireless taxpayer advocate who can greatly enhance our legislative monitoring abilities. We are thrilled to have this alliance with her.”

The RI Taxpayer Times will replace the popular RISC daily e-newsletter RISC-y Business. Harriet Lloyd, the longtime editor, says “We are sad to bid farewell to RISC-y Business, however we cheer the arrival of RI Taxpayer Times, and I am personally very grateful for all the positive response we had over the years to RISC-y.” Another visible reform advocate, blogger Monique Chartier, now takes the reins as daily editor of the new newsletter. “Monique has become a valued collaborator with us and we are excited about her taking on the editor duties for our new Taxpayer Times,” said Perry.

The RI Statewide Coalition, founded in 2003, was spun out of what was formerly a South County oriented watchdog group, called the “RI Shoreline Coalition”.



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