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Hello Kossacks - I’m Providence Mayor David Cicilline and I am running for Congress in Rhode Island’s First Congressional District for the seat currently held by Patrick Kennedy.

As a longtime reader and first time blogger on Kos, I am thrilled to come here to the nexus of the online progressive community to introduce myself and hear from you about how we can put Congress back on track.

I have served as Mayor of Providence since 2003 – an experience that has been incredibly challenging at times but also incredibly rewarding. From the potholes that need to be filled to balancing a budget so we can provide vital social services, I've seen how my work impacts constituents every day.

It’s this sort of personal connection to voters, and the intimate understanding of the issues they care about, that Congress has been lacking.  Look at any recent poll and you’ll see that hardworking men and women have lost faith that government can have a positive impact on their lives.

I want to go to Washington to get Congress working again and craft effective, progressive policies that do more to address the issues important to voters and help working families find economic security in this very difficult economic climate.

Right now, in Rhode Island, 12% of workers can’t find jobs – the fourth highest rate in the nation.  But in spite of this, we’ve worked hard to find innovative solutions to expand opportunities for jobs and job training services.

My campaign recently rolled out a new television ad highlighting the work I’ve done on this issue:

Last February, I fought to put $10 million in unused TANF funding towards creating the Jobs Now Providence program, which provides up to 100% wage reimbursements for companies that are willing to hire low-income, unemployed area residents.  A few months later, the Governor followed our lead and put $46 million towards creating the Jobs Now Rhode Island program that is currently putting people to work.

I’ve also worked with City Hall officials to expand opportunities in the green energy sector and give residents employment options for a new economy.  In April, we established the $3.1 million "Green Pathways Out of Poverty" program to train low-income, unemployed residents for green collar jobs. Last month, 200 people applied for the 16-week training program which will provide job placement assistance with a focus on weatherization and green construction-related fields.

These are the types of real solutions that the Beltway has been lacking for far too long.  If I am fortunate enough to be elected to Congress this fall, I will start fighting on Day One to provide voters with real opportunities to succeed in the face of an ongoing recession.

That’s why I’ve proposed that Congress create a "Made in America Block Grant" to help retool small manufacturers and provide workers with training to get the skills they need to compete in today’s economy.

Rhode Island was once a leading manufacturing hub – producing jewelry, boats, electronics, and other goods – until those jobs were shipped overseas.  By offering manufacturers grants to expand their operations in areas such as biomedical and pharmaceutical research, medical devices, and the development of alternative sources of energy, we can create new American manufacturing jobs that provide workers with a secure economic future.

I will also fight to establish a National Infrastructure Bank that awards funding for local infrastructure projects on a nonpartisan basis.  As many of you may know, this idea was first proposed by Senators Chris Dodd and Chuck Hagel in 2007, and I believe it’s long past time for Congress to put it into practice.  This new entity would not only help create new jobs, but also rebuild an infrastructure that has been left unattended for far too long.

No issue is more important to me than making sure hardworking American men and women have the chance to succeed in spite of a difficult economic climate.  I’ve fought for every job I can as Mayor of Providence and I will continue to do so if I am elected to Congress.

Thank you for taking the time to read my introduction to the Kos community. And thank you for all the work you have done to advance progressive policies in our national discourse – I continue to be amazed at how, in Margaret Mead’s words, "a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world."

If you have any questions, please leave them for me in the comments section and I will try to answer them in a future diary, or you can email me at david@cicilline.com.  I look forward to hearing more from you about how, together, we can help put Congress and our country back on the right track.

Originally posted to David Cicilline on Tue Aug 17, 2010 at 01:47 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Great Ad! Good luck! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    clong85

    We love you in Pawtucket!

    Barack Obama '08: Because a Generation's Faith in Government Depends On It. http://gudemocrats.blogspot.com/ Georgetown University Democrats Blog

    by klugerEsel5 on Tue Aug 17, 2010 at 02:00:37 PM PDT

    •  Mayor, have you no shame? (4+ / 0-)

      Mayor, David Segal has already called you out for this misleading ad, where you take credit for work that Segal and others had to sue you in Superior Court to make happen.  This is exactly why people don't trust politicians, as the poll you cite points out.

      Are you going to do the honorable thing and take down this ad, or are you going to continue trying to mislead people and take credit for the work of Segal and others?

      Segal suing you to implement this jobs program is all well-documented.  http://www.projo.com/...

  •  A new voice in Washington (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    deha, oceanstateliberal247

    Great post Mayor! And let me help welcome you to DailyKos.  Leaders in Washington are often so out of touch with local communities and have no clue how to take stimulus money and translate that into real jobs.  I think that having served as Mayor of a large city you best understand how to create programs that work and provide small businesses with the money they need to put Americans back to work.  

    We could use someone like you in Washington; one who has real experience creating programs like "Green Pathways out of Poverty."  We need more leaders with practical hands-on experience who would be able to draft laws and legislation that would produce jobs in local communities without large amounts of waste.  

  •  Welcome to Daily Kos, Mayor Cicilline! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oceanstateliberal247, clong85

    Best of luck to you, and thanks for the diary.

    "What's dictatorship by the majority called again??? Oh yeah -- DEMOCRACY!" ---Eclectablog's friend Abby

    by deha on Tue Aug 17, 2010 at 02:35:01 PM PDT

  •  I live in the first district (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    clong85

    I hope that, if you win, you will stick to your convictions. However, I probably won't be living in this state much longer. I'm retired and can't possibly afford the property taxes that don't seem to do anything for the taxpayers. I love living here, but will be moving to an area where I can afford to survive.

  •  Welcome to our community. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pete Rock

    I look forward to your time as my districts next congressman.  The primary is crowded with many excellent candidates but it appears you lead and are the favorite in the general election as well.  I am a David Segal supporter but since it appears that you are on your way to victory in the primary I am very much prepared to support you.   I believe that you will do a great job as my representative in congress and would like to congratulate you for coming to Daily Kos to listen to your party's net roots, something some democrats in the house and senate are afraid to do.

  •  Good luck to you. n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    clong85

    God is good. If it isn't good. It isn't God.

    by publicv on Tue Aug 17, 2010 at 02:49:40 PM PDT

  •  Welcome Mayor Cicilline (0+ / 0-)

    Loved reading your first post and best of luck to you in your race!

    I live in your district and know firsthand how hard the Rhode Island job market can be.  As a recent college graduate I'm worried that I will have to move out of my home state in order to find a job.  We need members of Congress to create programs that work.  Often I feel that Washington appropriates huge sums that have little impact on the ground.  Your experience as Mayor has shown you what programs work and what real people back in our district need.  

    I know that you will work hard to bring back jobs to Rhode Island.  

  •  We need all of it, infrastructure jobs bank (0+ / 0-)

    directed investment to change the climate for genuine growth in our economy.

    We have a situation where investment decisions are made in Switzerland or China, and the USA is adversely impacted. That's not "GLOBALIZATION", that's serfdom or peonage.  

              GE, Browne and Sharpe, Hasbro, many other companies have fled South or stopped there on their way overseas. Even General Motors after the taxpayer bailout closed many domestic plants and continues to expand overseas.

    It will be a very tough fight but unless we send some Democrats willing to take on the hard work and not cave in to "conventional wisdom" that has failed for over 40
    years,we won't recover or realistically be even worse off than we are now, in RI and elsewhere.

    Best of luck to you and keep fighting!  

    cast away illusions, prepare for struggle

    by Pete Rock on Tue Aug 17, 2010 at 04:02:10 PM PDT

  •  Mayor, you must be very excited. . . (3+ / 0-)

    That the corporations and their representatives have determined that funding your campaign is a good investment, just as they did when you were running for Governor. The progressive opponent in your race, David Segal, has already refused money from corporations, and called on you to do the same and return those contributions you've already taken.  Are you going to return this money?  If not, why, and what does this say about you?

    http://www.projo.com/...

  •  Come to the debate. (5+ / 0-)

    If you are so passionate about fighting for Rhode Islanders, why don't you come to the debate tomorrow on WPRO?  Is a grudge with Buddy Cianci more important to you than giving voters the chance to hear all sides of the race?

    •  Cicilline needs to be transparent! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wiselatina

      I agree with yespalmer here.

      What might not be understood nationwide is just how important WPRO is Providence. This radio station is hugely influential, in no small part because of former mayor Buddy Cianci's show. A debate on WPRO is going to be VERY widely listened to. Cicilline not attending speaks volumes about his character.

      He's afraid of Buddy and he's afraid of David Segal, who has sued him (successfully)  for not enforcing the ordinance to implement First Source, which helps provide jobs in the city.

      Good for Segal, Lynch, and Gemma for calling out Cicilline on not attending this debate.

  •  About time you responded to these criticisms. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jrhodes13, Progressive in RI

    These are some interesting comments here, Mayor Cicilline, accusing you of lying in your ad. Is it true that one of your opponents and his allies had to take you to court to compel you to implement one of the jobs plans you take credit for in this ad? Why haven't you responded to these accusations? We in the netroots value honesty and transparency. It would be best if you stepped up and responded. Or, if you have no response, you should stop running this ad. That request is not an unreasonable one.

    As a faithful netroots member, I was at the Netroots Nation convention in Las Vegas last month. I met your opponent, David Segal. You were nowhere to be seen. As far as I'm concerned, this lie-ridden blog posting is too little, too late, and I am quite sure that the people who have commented here in your favor are on your payroll. This is a pathetic attempt to ingratiate yourself with a constituency that isn't interested in supporting someone like you. Is this an indication that you feel threatened by Rep. Segal?

    I'd also like to know this: If unemployment is so high in Rhode Island, how is it that you can claim to be good on job creation? If you were really so great at creating jobs, wouldn't unemployment be lower? Even if you aren't a liar, you are, at the very least, ineffective. That's why people are so cynical about Washington: They think everyone there is a liar, ineffective, or both. We don't need more of that.

    I look forward to your response.

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