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Michelle believes we deserve a state government that looks out for struggling Rhode Islanders.  Many people in our community suffer from poverty, but even middle class families are suffering.  Our neighborhoods face high utility bills, brutal rents, unaffordable homes, property tax hikes, and devastating healthcare costs.


Michelle’s core priority is to invest in people.  She will fight for greater investments in housing, healthcare, education, climate resilience, and job creation.  She believes we cannot afford not to make these investments.  Because these investments cost money, that is why it is so important to Michelle to repeal the 2006 tax cuts for the rich.  See below for some of Michelle’s specific positions on the key issues.


With Michelle as our state Senator, we will have a tireless advocate for the people just struggling to get by.

Repeal the 2006 Tax Cuts for the Rich

In 2006, Rhode Island passed devastating tax cuts for the rich.  After the dust settled in 2010, the top rate for the rich had fallen from 9.9% to 5.99%.  The bottom rate for the poor and working class stayed right where it was at 3.75%.  Not only did we give huge amounts of money to the rich, but to pay for it we cut investments that the rest of us desperately need.  That is why we have to change this.  We have to repeal the tax cuts for the rich.



Invest in Medicaid

Especially now, in the aftermath of the pandemic, Michelle will be a steadfast champion of investing in the state's Medicaid program.  She will work to reverse the many years of budget cuts made to Medicaid.  She believes we must raise the state's Medicaid reimbursement rates for assisted living facilities, nursing homes, hospitals, independent senior living initiatives, behavioral health coverage services, disability care programs, and so many other desperately needed forms of care.  Raising Medicaid rates will increase staffing and quality of care–something our healthcare system desperately needs.  A strong healthcare system must be equitable.  It must also create good-paying jobs that reflect the value of our healthcare workers to society.

Reproductive Rights

Michelle strongly supports a woman’s right to choose.  She will always defend these rights against right-wing attacks.  She believes we must restore coverage for abortion care to Medicaid purge victims, who were recently dumped onto plans that do not cover the procedure.

Support our Seniors

Rhode Island seniors deserve to enjoy a comfortable retirement and to have healthcare that accommodates their preferred living arrangements.  Michelle Rivera believes in the importance of retirement security.  As State Senator, she will back efforts to repeal the COLA freeze and other pension cuts, which have severely impacted retirees and workers alike.  She will fight the privatization of Medicare and fight against price gouging by Medicare Advantage plans.


Unfortunately, the state Department of Elderly Affairs was downgraded to the Office of Healthy Aging.  Michelle believes we must invest in more social workers at the Office of Healthy Aging (OHA), and make OHA a full-blown department once again.

LGBTQ Rights

Michelle strongly supports LGTBQ rights.  She’s horrified by right-wing attempts to roll back these fundamental freedoms.  LGTBQ people have experienced a sizable increase in hate crimes, threats of intimidation, and awful laws in other states.  Michelle will always fight back against transphobic legislation.  She believes we must stop insurance companies from denying coverage for LGBTQ healthcare, such as trans-affirming care.

State Agencies

While some select state government agencies and programs have received a disproportionate amount of support from the General Assembly–such as the Commerce Corporation–many others remain severely understaffed.  That includes the Department of Children, Youth, & Families (DCYF), the Department of Human Services, the Department of Environmental Management, and the AG's Office, among others.  As your state Senator, Michelle will fight to adequately fund these critical agencies and the necessary services they all provide to our state.

The Climate Crisis

Addressing the climate crisis, an existential threat to both the United States and to the world at large, will be one of the greatest challenges this state will face in the next several years and decades.  Now, especially as the effects of climate change come ever-closer to our doorstep, Michelle will work hard to fight the climate crisis.


Michelle believes in the Green New Deal vision for addressing the climate crisis.  That means we must transform our economy by investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency to stop carbon pollution in our state.  Making this transition will create jobs and help our economy.

Environmental Justice

Addressing the climate crisis, an existential threat to both the For too long, poor neighborhoods and communities of color have been disproportionately burdened by pollution.  We must stop dumping environmental costs on low-income neighborhoods.  In Providence, that means investing in trees to clean up air pollution, cleaning up lead, cracking down on polluting businesses in our neighborhoods, and so much more.

Affordable Housing

The housing crisis is personal to Michelle.  As a teenager, she was homeless.  As your state Senator, she will push for dramatically expanded affordable and low-income housing investments in Providence and all across Rhode Island.  Michelle believes we must increase funding to combat homelessness, and we must expand wrap-around and substance use disorder services at our homeless shelters to reduce the burden on the surrounding neighborhood.  We should make sure we provide every homeless person in our state with the services they need to turn their lives around.

Fairly Tax Wealthy Universities

Rich colleges and universities need to pay their fair share.  Providence’s city government is broke.  That’s one reason why we have terrible services and high property taxes.  Michelle strongly opposes the property tax hike, but she also believes we need a state Senate that will change the laws to force universities to pay their fair share.  Brown and PC make important contributions to our city, but so do low-income homeowners scared of losing their homes to property taxes they can’t pay.  Enough is enough.  While Michelle understands the need to work within the confines of the US Supreme Court’s decision in Dartmouth v. Woodward and the unbreakable charter exemption the British monarchy gave Brown University before the Revolution, those special deal tax exemptions only cover property taxes.  Michelle believes we need to pass state laws to authorize taxing the revenue of wealthy universities.  It’s legal.  We just need the political courage to do it.

Stop Utility Rate Hikes

Michelle believes electric and gas rates have gone up far too much.  She believes that that’s what will happen when we put top executives at our utility company in charge of the state board that decides how much to let them raise rates (the Public Utilities Commission, typically abbreviated as the PUC).  That is why she will fight for members of the PUC who care about the struggles of families just trying to get by.  She also strongly supports the PIPP initiative to relieve low-income people’s crushing utility costs.

Crack Down on Health Insurance Corporations

Michelle is tired of health insurance companies denying coverage and forcing families into awful situations.  While she believes we must cover everyone through a Medicare for All system in our state, while we’re working to get there, she believes we must stop letting insurance companies rip off patients.  She will fight for strong state laws to stop denials of coverage, brutal co-pays, outrageous deductibles, and so many other dirty tricks these companies play to boost their profits.

Ban Assault Weapons

Michelle will also put pressure on the Senate leadership to pass gun safety measures that failed to pass this recent session.  Most importantly, she will work with other legislators to pass the assault weapons ban that floundered in the State Senate, even in the aftermath of record gun violence and mass shootings all across this country.  Having seen the consequences of gun violence in Afghanistan and in our own country, she is committed to making sure senseless gun tragedies do not remain the "new normal" in America.


As the City of Providence and Rhode Island moves on from the pandemic learning loss, Michelle will be a champion for public education in the city and in the state.  Her vision for improving education includes providing greater state aid to city schools and districts (particularly in lower-income communities), providing better support to our teachers with workforce development, adequate pay, and desirable employee benefits, providing more substantial funding for multilingual initiatives like ESL training, and providing improved and expanded mental health services in schools and colleges. 


For college students and soon-to-be college students, Michelle will help lead efforts to lower the costs of college tuition.  To do so, she will both promote more free tuition scholarship opportunities and more funding for public higher education institutions. 


Finally, Michelle will fight to end the state takeover of Providence schools and bring in new leadership to the Rhode Island Department of Education.


She also believes that private colleges and universities like Brown and PC must pay their fair share in taxes.

Food Insecurity

Michelle believes we must help end food insecurity and child hunger.  She wants to expand SNAP outreach and make healthy school meals free for all students.  She wants to address food deserts by reforming zoning laws to legalize more small grocery stores that provide healthy food for our neighborhoods.

Repealing LEOBOR

Despite calls by many state lawmakers and city/town officials across the state (including several former Providence mayors) to repeal LEOBOR, the General Assembly failed again to repeal it this past session.  As our State Senator, Michelle Rivera will work to repeal LEOBOR.  Doing so will raise standards for criminal justice and police conduct, making law enforcement more accountable to the public and improving our ability to fight crime.

Animal Rights

Michelle will be an ally in the struggle for basic animal rights and protections.  Specifically, she supports limits on animal experiments.  We must have compassion for all creatures.

Mental Health

Mental health challenges pose a serious problem for people in our neighborhood.  Michelle believes we must address this challenge.  So many Rhode Islanders can’t even find a therapist their insurance will cover.  Michelle supports increased Medicaid funding for mental healthcare and making health insurance companies cover mental health care and pay for it fairly.  Michelle lost her father to suicide when he threw himself off a bridge.  She strongly supports the proposal to put suicide prevention netting on Rhode Island bridges.

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