The Aquidneck Island Planning Commission (AIPC) is hosting the 2017 Newport County Legislative Forum next week, on Thursday, April 27th from8:30 – 10 a.m. in the auditorium of the Community College of Rhode Island in Newport, RI.

The 2017 forum is AIPC’s second annual legislative forum and part of its ongoing “Smart Island” series of public events. The event is free and open to the public; however, space is limited and registration is recommended. Tickets are available through AIPC’s website.

“We’re delighted to host this event for the second year in a row,” said AIPC’s Chairman, Richard P. “Dick” Adams. “It’s one of many ways that AIPC facilitates communication between state and local leaders, and members of the public here on Aquidneck Island.” AIPC’s Executive Director, Tom Ardito, adds “running through all our work… is the idea that the best public decisions are made with community involvement. By fostering an informed discussion about public policy, in this case at the state level, events like the Newport County Legislative Forum support all that we do.”

More than half of the state’s Newport County delegation will participate in the forum, including Senators Louis P. DiPalma and James A. Seveney, and Representatives Marvin Abney, Deborah Ruggiero, Lauren Carson, and Susan R. Donovan. The event is expected to draw 150-200 people, and will provide an opportunity for questions from the public.

The event will be moderated this year by Neil Steinberg, President & CEO of the Rhode Island Foundation, the state’s largest charitable foundation. “Community engagement is a positive force for change. State lawmakers, AIPC and local stakeholders deserve credit for coming together to share their vision for moving the area forward,” said Steinberg.

2017 is shaping up to be an active legislative session, while the state faces added uncertainty presented by the new administration in Washington. The forum will provide an opportunity to discuss how new state initiatives may affect Aquidneck Island.

For more information about AIPC and the 2017 Newport County Legislative Forum, and to register for the event, please visit

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).