We’re two Newport “social justice crusaders ” who have studied the District 13 candidates for RI Senate. Our decision is made;  we’re voting for John Florez.  In our book, he’s clearly the candidate best equipped to champion the way forward to the much stronger, year-round economy that we all have been seeking for decades.

John’s resume speaks for itself;  he knows how to build and grow thousands of high quality, tax-paying,  year-round careers that we need to fund our many social enterprise goals. While the other candidates tout their generic support for “good jobs,” Florez actually creates them!

Like many Rhode Island voters, we support fundamental social causes that enhance the quality of life for seniors, promote universal healthcare, advocate for a cleaner environment, buttress women’s rights, and deliver higher-performing public education.

Realistically, these important causes have hefty price tags. Clearly, in a state that’s been  hard-pressed to grow sources of revenue, electing leadership with proven entrepreneurial wherewithal is essential, if we hope to forge a more fruitful and resilient future.

The John Florez story is inspiring. A Columbian-born child, who at age 5 came to America, rose from poverty to build a successful technology business, which recently won Google’s  “Economic Impact” award. Now, he is giving back by sharing his strengths with others.

Our beautiful state, persistently cash-constrained due to a low-growth economy, is hobbled by a labor force that failed to keep pace with the tech revolution. Everything changed when Steve Jobs put the world in the palm of our hands. While many states rode the wave of the knowledge economy, the Ocean State was pulled under the tow of debt and an unwillingness to push past an antiquated status quo.

If your goal is to expand progressive policies, obviously, we must find new sources of cash that are not tied to fanciful federal funding, additional state borrowing, or worse, the hypnotic effects of gambling’s easy money.  Join us in voting for John Florez in the July 18th primary.

Florez is the only candidate, untethered by special interests, who is poised to use his insightfulness, energy, and experience to move our city and state ahead.

Respectfully submitted,

Beth & Mike Cullen

Newport

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Ryan M. Belmore

Ryan M. Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.