Progressives urge Raimondo not to cut funding to ‘distressed’ communities

The progressives say the pandemic has only worsened inequities in communities like Pawtucket, Providence, and Central Falls, which also have the highest Covid rates in the state.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Progressive candidates for state office are calling on the governor not to cut aid to the state’s most impoverished cities and towns as part of her budget proposals.

“We cannot take money away from those communities that need it the most especially at a time when we’re facing a pandemic and economic insecurity,” said Democratic House Nominee Lenonela Felix.

According to the progressive candidates, and those with grassroots organization Reclaim Rhode Island, the governor’s proposal would slash funding to a program for “distressed” cities and towns – in half.

“Raiding funding to communities that are already struggling betrays our core values as neighbors,” said Democratic Senate Nominee and current Pawtucket City Councilor Meghan Kallman.

The progressives say the pandemic has only worsened inequities in communities like Pawtucket, Providence, and Central Falls, which also have the highest Covid rates in the state.

“Our communities across the state desperately need state aid now more than ever,” said Democratic House Nominee David Morales. “And if the governor and her administration carelessly cut it, then it will be working people, communities of color, and low income neighborhoods that are forced to suffer from these divestments.”

Morales suggested alternatives such as adjusting the tax code not to favor the wealthiest in the state, and using revenue bonds.

“There are alternative revenue streams that we could explore and exploit,” said Kallman. “That said, budgets are reflections of the things that we value, and so the question is what do we value?”

ABC 6 reached out to the governor’s office for comment on this issue but did not immediately hear back.

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Pawtucket, Politics, Providence, Rhode Island