Pawtucket – Asking “Is everybody ready for this?” the State’s highest ranking woman leaned far left on Monday, rolling out a Progressive agenda in support of her bid for Governor of the State of Rhode Island.
Immediately addressing her roots, Gina Raimondo, Candidate schooled the crowd of more than one hundred supporters on who she is and how she came to be the State’s General Treasurer. Speaking to the current state of the Rhode Island economy and the lack of jobs for Rhode Island’s unemployed, Raimondo cautioned the crowd that all problems wouldn’t be solved overnight.
“We should ask ourselves how we can lift up those who have been left out and better educate our children and workers so they have the skills they need in a global economy,” she said.
Raimondo spoke of the importance of investing in public education and rolled out her plan to pair students and those who have returned to school with available jobs.
Promising to be a governor who would tell the truth no matter how ugly the truth to be told, Raimondo gave her only acknowledgement of the contingent of firefighters gathered outside in protest of her candidacy. “And a governor who’s going to tell you the truth no matter how loud and angry the opposition,” she said.
Mentioning her legacy of pension reform, the state Treasurer spoke candidly about economic shortfalls through unfunded pensions bringing the state and its municipalities to the brink of economic failure.
Calling for a return to traditional Democratic principles, Raimondo called for unity in making Rhode Island whole by attaining economic stability and success.
“If you are looking for a candidate who professes to have all of the answers to all of the challenges we face, then I think the danger is to fall into the trap that we have fallen into so many times before. No one person has all of the answers, but together we can deliver Rhode Island from all that ails us,” she said.
Raimondo throughout her speech urged her supporters to join her in ending the mentality that the state’s status quo was good enough.
“We have to finally overcome the persistent, pervasive and passive acceptance that things are good enough. They are not good enough.” ~ Gina Raimondo
She spoke of traditional and true democratic ideals – returning the democratic party to one of the people. Raimondo spoke of families, of working men and women, igniting applause from her supporters, not inconsistent with the message of the firefighters gathered outside.
Choosing the Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket as the launchpad for her gubernatorial campaign, Raimondo sent a message of diversity and inclusion to her supporters.
Warming up the crowd for Raimondo was a strong contingent of liberal to progressive colleagues and supporters, including Sen. Donna Nesslebush, Rep. Grace Diaz, Lt. Governor Elizabeth Roberts and Sterl Carpenter of URI’s Young Democrats.
Nesslebush, speaking in her own district, told a tale of Gina, a Progressive candidate, with Progressive ideals, who supported marriage equality and helped soften Rhode Island’s conservative roots.
All speakers made a point to recognize the strong Latino support in the room, with Diaz rallying her own followers to join her in supporting Raimondo.
Tim Byrne, Manager of the Rhode Island Plumber and Pipefitters Union, came out in support for Raimondo, defying the picket lines, much to the dismay of union members gathered outside.
“It’s not going to be easy, but we are going to step forward and we’re going to support the person who we feel is going to bring economic growth to this state; that we feel is going to do the best job possible to retain our population. We lose too many people. too many people that graduate from our great universities and leave because the opportunity’s not there. [Gina Raimondo’s] going to be the one to get us there,” said Byrne.
Lt. Governor Elizabeth Roberts said she wanted to see Raimondo become the first woman Governor of the State of Rhode Island.
“I have seen first hand the character, the values of fairness and integrity, the willingness to wrestle with the tough issues,” she said of Raimondo. Roberts noted that creating a patch to deal with a problem instead of a resolution was not Raimondo’s way of operating.