The citizens in House District 75 have a strong concern for the environment and would like to see Rhode Island invest wisely in infrastructure.

That was the result of a constituent survey recently conducted by Rep. Lauren H. Carson (D-Dist. 75, Newport.)

About 100 constituents completed the survey, conducted in February, rating various issues in terms of how important they believe they are for the state.

Two of the top two issues are environmental. The issue that was rated “very important” by the most respondents, nearly 70 percent, was climate change and sea level rise. Coming in third, rated “very important” by nearly 63 percent of those responding, was managing plastic waste in the environment.

The issue with the second-highest number of “very important” ratings, about 67 percent, was infrastructure investment in roads, bridges, gas and water infrastructure.

“These are very enlightening responses,” said Representative Carson in a statement. “I share my neighbors’ deep concern about environmental issues, particularly climate change and waste, and I believe the people of Aquidneck Island are particularly attuned to the importance of properly maintaining our bridges and roads, as well as our utility infrastructure. I’ve devoted much of my legislative career to addressing these concerns, and will stay focused on them to help bring about the changes that the people of District 75 would like to see.”

This session, Representative Carson and Rep. Terri Cortvriend (D-Dist. 72, Portsmouth, Middletown) together formed the Aquidneck Island Climate Caucus, a community group to give voice to the importance of mitigating and adapting for the earth’s changing climate. The energized citizens’ group has its next meeting Monday, March 9, from 6 p.m. to 8 the Portsmouth Free Public Library, 2658 East Main Road.

Representative Carson was also the sponsor of a law that now requires local planning board members to participate in a free training program on the effects of rising sea levels and development in flood plains. The law was a recommendation of the House Commission on Economic Risk Due to Flooding and Sea Rise, which she led, and which was created by a bill she sponsored in her first term.

She has sponsored numerous other bills concerning sea rise and other environmental concerns, particularly food waste. This session, she has introduced legislation to require schools to comply with recycling and composting laws to address food waste in cafeterias. She has also led a House commission that explored incentives for encouraging food waste reduction.

After a weeklong gas outage that left Aquidneck Island in the cold in January 2019, Representative Carson was among those who demanded deeper investigation into the infrastructure failings that set the outage in motion. She has also worked to connect the community to information about the Pell Bridge access ramp redesign project.

Other issues that ranked highly with constituents who took the survey are election integrity and clean campaign financing, addressing health care delivery systems and costs, education reform, and gun safety.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp.  Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in...