News from Representative David Cicilline
|SERVING YOU | MEDIA CENTER | LEGISLATIVE WORK | OUR DISTRICT|
|September 28, 2018|
Yesterday I sent a letter to my colleagues announcing my intent to run for Assistant Democratic Leader in the upcoming 116th Congress. For the past year and a half, I have served as Co-Chair of the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee. I’ve spent months developing our Democratic messaging and strategy and working with the entire caucus to ensure we captured the voice of all Democrats.
As one of only six openly LGBT members in the U.S. House of Representatives, I believe that I would help reflect the diversity and strength of the Democratic Party.
I’ve proven in Committee and on the Floor that I will fight and hold true to my convictions. And having served as mayor of a capital city, I’ve built the skills needed to work with stakeholders in order to accomplish a goal and be an effective leader.
These next few weeks I will remain focused on making sure Democrats win the House back, but I would be honored to serve as Assistant Democratic Leader and continue to fight hard for Rhode Islanders every day in Washington.
SUPPORTING OUR VETERANS
Our veterans deserve the best our state and country can provide. That’s why on Monday I joined Senators Reed and Whitehouse at the Providence VA Medical Center for their new parking garage groundbreaking ceremony. Once complete, this infrastructure project will ensure that our veterans are able to park close to the medical center and access the services they need.
Rhode Island is home to over 70,000 veterans. These are individuals who left their friends, families, and loved ones to answer their nation’s call and put their lives on the line to guarantee our safety and freedom here at home. It is incredibly important that we recognize the sacrifices they have made by investing in the care and services they receive and the benefits they have earned.
Infrastructure improvements at VA Medical Centers like this are indispensable in our community. I’m also proud to support other investments in our veterans, such as leading the appropriations request for robust funding for the Veterans Crisis Line and co-sponsoring legislation to expand and improve the Post 9/11 GI Bill which eliminated time limits for use of benefits, expanded eligibility to Purple Heart recipients, and allowed for benefits to be transferred to children.
We owe our troops, veterans, and their families our deepest respect and gratitude, in addition to the exceptional care and benefits that they have earned defending our great nation. I look forward to seeing the completion of this project.
RHODE ISLAND TEXTILE INNOVATION NETWORK
For years we’ve seen so many jobs in the manufacturing industry shipped overseas. These were good-paying jobs that helped build our middle class, and that’s why it is so important that we reclaim our identity as a leader in manufacturing and support innovation and job creation in this industry.
On Monday, I was proud to join Senator Reed, Senator Whitehouse, and Congressman Langevin, along with top leaders in the textile manufacturing industry, for the launch of the Rhode Island Textile Innovation Network (RITIN). This network helps bring together stakeholders and promotes collaboration among the public and private sector to help reinvigorate the local textile manufacturing industry. Senator Whitehouse has led this effort, and I am proud to recognize his strong leadership on this issue and excited about the opportunities this presents for Rhode Island.
The manufacturing industry is incredibly important in our state, and the textile community plays a pivotal role in this space. RITIN fosters collaboration among textile industry leaders, academia, and government with a mission to make Rhode Island a leader in advanced textile manufacturing, and to develop solutions to recruit and train our sector’s future workforce.
Recently, a manufacturing proposal of mine was signed into law with the Defense Authorization Bill. This proposal allows communities to apply for a two-year designation as a "Defense Manufacturing Community." This designation will give selected communities an edge when competing for funding, as well as technical assistance. That means Rhode Island manufactures will have the opportunity to get a leg up on millions in annual funding through this initiative.
I'm proud to support our manufacturing community and believe that we need to continue to focus on making investments that foster innovation in this industry and create good-paying jobs. I look forward to continuing to fight in Congress for investments and support for the manufacturing community.
MORE FUNDING FOR THE OPIOID CRISIS
This week, I was proud to announce along with Senator Reed, Senator Whitehouse, Congressman Langevin, and Governor Raimondo, the award of $12.6 million to the Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities, and Hospitals (BHDDH). This funding will be used to help reduce deaths related to opioid overdose, reduce unmet treatment need, and increase access to medication-assisted treatment.
This federal funding, awarded through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), will help save lives here in Rhode Island. Our state has been hit particularly hard by the opioid crisis and so many families have been devastated as a result. The magnitude of this public health crisis requires a comprehensive national strategy and significant federal resources to finally end this epidemic.
AFG PROGRAM WORKSHOP
Our firefighters and first responders put their lives on the line every day. These brave men and women keep our communities safe and deserve access to the best equipment and trainings available so that they can continue doing their job safely and effectively.
On Monday, I took part in Senator Reed’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG) workshop to help provide training to local fire departments on the AFG application process. The primary goal of the AFG program is to enhance the safety of the public and firefighters with respect to fire-related hazards by providing direct financial assistance to eligible fire departments, nonaffiliated Emergency Medical Services organizations, and State Fire Training Academies. This funding is for critically needed resources to equip and train emergency personnel to recognized standards, enhance operations efficiencies, foster interoperability, and support community resilience.
This workshop will help ensure our fire departments have the information and resources necessary to submit the strongest possible application through the AFG program and bring as much federal funding back to our state as possible.
The AFG Program serves as one of the most important grant programs in the federal government by ensuring that our fire departments have access to the best resources available to keep our communities safe. I am always proud to advocate for these brave men and women and will continue fighting, along with my colleagues in the delegation, for robust funding to be made available for this program.
As always, if you or someone you know has any questions or concerns, please call my office at 729-5600 or send me an email at David.Cicilline@mail.house.gov.
You can also click here to follow my work on Twitter.
Member of Congress