August 19, 2010

Tanzi: A Change for the Better by Ann Marie Denelle

As published in the South County Independent, August 19, 2010

By Ann Marie Denelle, Wakefield

LETTERS- I am writing in support of Teresa Tanzi's bid for the District 34 R.I. House of Representatives seat.

I am a Wakefield resident, a parent, a school social worker and a student. I was born and raised in Rhode Island and take great pride in this. I attended public schools growing up, received a bachelor's degree from the University of Rhode Island and a master's degree from Rhode Island College. I currently work in public education and my children attend public schools. I celebrate all of this and feel fortunate that these have been positive experiences.

A family heritage of state service is noble, and I'm proud that my own family honors such a tradition. We are all "public servants," as teachers, nurses and social workers. However, I have seen this notion twisted to justify an institutionalized phenomenon that is not helping the working people, and only strengthens the insider network.

I make such bold statements because I have lived here nearly my entire life, minus a few years away in my twenties. I have seen the same stuff go on forever: corruption, back-door deals, over-spending, nepotism, etc. Many good people have dedicated their lives to Rhode Island politics and some good things have resulted. However, a change is needed. I support Teresa Tanzi because I share her concerns as a mother, a taxpayer, a citizen and as a woman. I concur with her stands on fair taxation, transparency, accountability and

evidenced-based decision-making. One of Teresa's main pledges is to answer one basic question: Are our tax dollars being used efficiently for their intended use? I support Teresa's platform regarding electoral reform, preservation and conservation of our resources, affordable health care, economic development, local sustainability and, nearest to my heart, education. This is the key to our future.

We need new political representation, a fresh face at the State House. I believe that three family members atop the three separate branches of government, the same three branches intended to safeguard citizen interests, is more old-style Rhode Island politics, and something we desperately need to avoid. I can't even imagine the consequences for our state if a single family holds court in the Governor's Office, the House Judiciary Committee, the Providence Municipal Court, the Board of Regents and the Board of Governors. Hopefully, I won't need to.

I want a true representative of my voice, my community's concerns and needs; a person who actually lives and works in my community and actively participates in its health and future well being. Teresa Tanzi is that person. I proudly support her and feel she IS the change agent that Narragansett, Wakefield and Peace Dale need.

Ann Marie Denelle