With less than three months to the General Election, and less than a month to the Primary Election, What’s Up Newp begins its comprehensive coverage of not only elections in Newport County, but also key statewide legislative races.

Surveys were emailed to candidates in Newport County. We have received several responses, with still more coming in. If you are a candidate and have not received a questionnaire, please contact What’s Up Newp or Frank Prosnitz at frank.prosnitz@gmail.com.

We asked about political, professional and community background, about past accomplishments and issues the candidates hope to address during the next term.

Besides the candidates’ answers to our survey, we welcome press releases and op-ed pieces, as we make every effort to provide voters with information that will help them decide on whom they will support on election day. Candidates and those who support them can email Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.

Here we share an election profile for Vanessa Ellermann, who is seeking election on Middletown School Committee.

Vanessa Ellermann

Facebook Page – Campaign to Elect Vanessa Ellermann for Middletown School Committee

Government/political history

Current office (if none, please note none. Please note when elected initially, ex: Town Council, 1964): None

Previous political/government elected offices held, and years: None

Previous or current appointed government positions (including boards and commissions): None

Political Party Affiliation in 2020: Democrat

Previous political party affiliation if different from above: NA

Previous elective political positions sought, year and outcomes: None

If applicable: As an incumbent, I am most proud of: NA

If elected my three top goals are:

Improve school performance through diversity, inclusion, and equity. Update the curriculum to better inform students about how we got to where we are today. America is more divided than ever. This year, we have witnessed social unrest due to protests against systemic racism, all while experiencing an unprecedented public health crisis and economic uncertainly. We can begin to tackle these issues through better public

Create transparency and accessibility in our school committee by communicating openly with the public about what the School Committee is doing. Demand adherence from our local officials to the Rhode Island Ethics Commission Code of Ethics, which begins in pertinent part, “…[P]ublic officials and employees must adhere to the highest standards
of ethical conduct, respect the public trust and the rights of all persons, be open, accountable and responsive, avoid the appearance of impropriety and not use their position for private gain or advantage. Such persons shall hold their positions during
good behavior.”

Educate the next generation of our electorate by emphasizing independent thinking skills and critical thinking skills.

Employment and Education

My current employment, including title, is: I’ve managed and operated my own law practice since 2010 securing benefits for disabled United States veterans and their widows and disability benefits for social security claimants.

Schools and degrees:
Interlochen Arts Academy – fine art boarding high school
St. John’s College, B.A. Liberal Arts
University of San Diego School of Law, J.D.
Professional organizations, please not leadership positions:
American Bar Association
Rhode Island Bar Association

Awards of recognitions associated with work:

I am a published author in the Journal of Contemporary Legal Issues.

Non-profit community organization affiliations and any leadership positions
I’ve volunteered as a den leader and camp coordinator for Cub Scouts since 2014. Pack 33 had six scouts when I started volunteering and now it has more than thirty scouts. I’ve organized and assisted with numerous community service projects and social events, and recruited other leaders
to insure the survival of the Pack.

I’m an active member of Calvary United Methodist Church where I organized the spring tea last year and began our annual young adult care package program. I also serve on the finance

As a lawyer, I have the unique ability to help people. I consistently take on work that’s challenging and has changed lives for the better.

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