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Dist. 23 Primary Questionnaire: Anderson Answers

Challenger Jackie Anderson in the Sept. 13 primary for the Dist. 23 nomination.
Challenger Jackie Anderson in the Sept. 13 primary for the Dist. 23 nomination.
Challenger Jackie Anderson in the Sept. 13 primary for the Dist. 23 nomination.

WARWICK, RI — Warwick Dist. 23 Democratic challenger Jacquelyn “Jackie” Anderson faces incumbent Rep. and Speaker of the House Joe Shekarchi in the Sept. 13 primary for the nomination, and has asked each the same eight questions.

Whoever wins the race next week faces Republican software security architect Dana James Traversie in the November election. Democratic voters will consider which candidate is the best to represent their interests, but also which candidate can do that and still win the general election.

To provide voters with better insight into each candidate’s positions, ideas and views of the future, has asked each candidate these questions, giving them equal time to reply. All responses from both candidates have been published at the same time.

Candidates were urged to answer the questions directly: “An answer which skirts the subject or reads as a deliberate attempt to avoid the question will be registered as a failure to answer the question.”

Here are the questions and Anderson’s answers:

1. The Equality in Abortion Coverage Act (EACA)which would add coverage of abortion to RI’s Medicaid program and eliminate laws preventing people enrolled in Medicaid from using their insurance to cover abortion died in RI House and Senate committees this year. How could that be avoided next session, and would it receive your support if it made it for a vote?

ANDERSON: The Equality in Abortion Coverage Act (EACA) which I testified in support of is absolutely at the top of my list to support. Speaker Shekarchi let that bill die in committee. So, what I would do to ensure its passage is vote the Speaker out of office so that I can pass the EACA. 

2. Affordable and equitable housing is a perennial concern, more so this year with inflation exacerbating Rhode Islanders’ worries. Please explain your past efforts and future plans for aiding Rhode Islanders seeking safe, secure homes.  

ANDERSON: Affordable and equitable housing is a very big concern in RI. As a member of the RI Political Cooperative our platform, I commit to building 10,000 green affordable homes for working families in addition to implementing a statewide rent control to ensure that rent increases do not exceed 4% annually

3. RI’s existing 2021Act on Climate aims to accomplish net zero emissions by 2050, with 2030 and 2040 goals and a plan of action due to the Governor by 2025. How does this position the state for the expected move away from combustion engines accelerated by California’s ban beginning in 2035? Do you see potential improvements to existing law on this? 

ANDERSON: I’m glad Governor McKee has made that a priority but I would like to take our fight on climate change a step further. 

One of our climate change measures is to take on the fossil fuel industry to ensure clean air, clean water, and clean energy for all. Also to achieve 100% clean electricity by 2028 and net zero emissions by 2040 (first in the country).

4. Recent storm flooding in Providence and Cranston suggests the state isn’t moving quickly enough to stay ahead of climate change. What are your thoughts there?

ANDERSON: Climate change is certainly one of the factors for the recent flooding in RI. Especially since we’ve been in a severe drought for several weeks, and then 11 inches of rain water falls in a few hours. But we also need to focus on our infrastructure and maintaining our storm drains.

5. What are your thoughts on making Election Day a state holiday?

ANDERSON: Election Day should absolutely be a state holiday. Having to work puts an unnecessary barrier to participating in our democratic process. 

6. What is the next big step Rhode Island should take to promote economic development?

ANDERSON:  We need to invest in our small businesses. Giving them tax breaks and exemptions to allow them to thrive in our community.

7. What is your position on upholding the Constitution and the peaceful transfer of power?

ANDERSON: The Constitution is a living breathing document that should be upheld. A peaceful transition of power is necessary to our democracy. 

8. There are many exemptions to the state’s Access to Public Records Act, including when outside vendors are hired by municipal governments to produce reports, as ruled recently by the RI Attorney General’s office.

The ruling exposed a loophole where local and state government may withhold data used in public reports. It’s one of many exemptions in RI public records law that continues to stymie public insight into their government. Would you support a review and update of APRA?

ANDERSON: I believe in government transparency. It’s the taxpayers money and they have every right to know where it’s being spent. Yes, I do support a review and update of ARPA. 


Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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