Marcia Ranglin-Vassell: Bill would discriminate against potential foster parents

Providence Journal

Posted Jul 27, 2018 at 5:51 PM
Updated Jul 27, 2018 at 5:51 PM

I respectfully call on Congress to immediately reject a recent amendment to an appropriations bill. While its sponsor, U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Alabama, described the amendment as an attempt to promote religious freedom, its real effect is to penalize states that seek to prevent discrimination against foster and adoptive families.

Child welfare policy should be driven by the best interests of children. There are more than 400,000 children in foster care in the United States, and 118,000 of them are waiting for adoptive families. Across the country there is a shortage of foster and adoptive families.

I know many wonderful families who have stepped up to care for children. They have different backgrounds and faiths. They are diverse: young, old, gay, straight, single, married. They are all loving families and we need more of them. The children they care for are equally diverse.

Unfortunately, in Washington, Republicans supported this amendment to allow discrimination in foster care and adoption. The amendment would also penalize states — potentially including Rhode Island — that uphold anti-discrimination policies. This could result in fewer LGBT parents or parents of different faiths being approved to foster or adopt. If enacted, this would be harmful to children and our state.

I oppose this amendment, which gives license to discrimination. I believe that families should not be denied services based on their religion or sexual orientation. I urge others to let our congressional delegation know that they also oppose it.

Marcia Ranglin-Vassell
Providence
The writer is a Democratic state representative.

Rhode Island Elected A Slate of Progressives in 2016. Now Centrists Are Coming for Them.

In These Times
The Democratic Party establishment is launching a counterinsurgency.

BY STEVE AHLQUIST
PROVIDENCE, R.I.—“I am the only candidate in District Five who is fighting to protect a woman’s choice,” said incumbent state Rep. Marcia Ranglin-Vassell, a black woman, Jamaican immigrant and progressive Democrat, to more than a dozen volunteers in her backyard July 14. “I believe that women should have access to safe abortions.”

Ranglin-Vassell and her supporters were preparing for a long day of canvassing. “Marcia trusts women,” campaign volunteer Carolyn Morgan wrote to In These Times in an email. “I adore her!”

Read more.

 

My Turn: Hilary Levey Friedman: Let’s get rid of this crony system in R.I.

Providence Journal

Posted Jul 11, 2018 at 5:25 PM
Updated Jul 11, 2018 at 5:25 PM

Political leaders, such as Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez, say elections matter up and down the ballot, from the school board to the Oval Office.

But do elections all the way at the bottom of the ballot — such as for members of district committees — actually matter? And just what is a district committee?

Representative and senatorial district committees exist to endorse party candidates in primary elections. That endorsement generally earns a candidate two things: a demarcation on the ballot and access to party resources.

In the Rhode Island Democratic Party, this means access to the VAN, or the Voter Activation Network, a costly database that helps candidates reach out to voters.

You might ask Rep. Marcia Ranglin-Vassell, D-Providence, if representative district committee elections matter. She will not be listed as the endorsed candidate in September because her district committee, inherited from the 2016 elections, endorsed her opponent.

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Rhode Island Dems in uproar as party seeks to oust three progressive women

NBC News

At the same time, the party is standing by a lawmaker who has been charged with sexual assault and perjury. It also backed a former lawmaker who has been arrested several times.

by Alex Seitz-Wald / Jul.03.2018 / 3:15 PM ET / Updated Jul.03.2018 / 5:18 PM ET

WASHINGTON — As it tries to fend off a progressive insurgency, the Democratic Party in one of the bluest states in the country is facing open revolt after endorsing candidates — including a Trump-voting former Republican — in primaries against three progressive women up for re-election this year.

Progressives across the country say they're fighting an out-of-touch party establishment, but nowhere are the battle lines more clearly drawn than Rhode Island, where the state is run largely by Democrats who oppose abortion rights and get "A" ratings from the National Rifle Association.

The long-simmering fight burst into the open this week after the Rhode Island Democratic Party released its slate of endorsements, which critics say is aimed at punishing three women who ousted old-guard incumbents two years ago.

Read more.