Nearly 100 women from East Bay and across the state gathered Tuesday to map out next steps for the growing Rhode Island Democratic Women’s Caucus. Almost a third of those present were first-time attendees. Caucus co-chairs Representatives Lauren Carson (Democrat, District 75, Newport), Shelby Maldonado (Democrat, District 56, Central Falls) and Grace Diaz (Democrat, District 11, Providence) led the two-hour program. Senator Gayle Goldin (Democrat, District 3, Providence) was absent due to family illness.
The attendees suggested specific workshops and training sessions they’d like to be part of, including: fundraising, leadership training, communications, running campaigns, understanding the legislature, learning how bills are made and passed, and supporting women candidates. An upcoming outline and schedule of workshops is expected to be presented to members in its next meeting.
Rhode Island Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea spoke to the group about the importance of getting involved in elections and politics, to exercise their right to vote and to encourage others to do so. She applauded the efforts of the co-chairs and the elected women in attendance, and urged all to attend their local city and town committee meetings. At least two dozen of those attending were either elected or city or town chairs. And Executive Director T Kevin Olasanoye gave a state Party update, including an overview of Resistance Summer, a 4-month, Democratic National Committee-led program to expand voter involvement. He introduced the Party’s two new interns, who will be responsible for building voter registration and community involvement: Michelle Arias and Jakub Lis.
The next meeting is Tuesday, August 1, in Newport; co-chairs also announced plans for tri-state regional meeting with other women’s caucuses for the fall. For more information, call 401.272.3367.