Friday, December 28, 2012

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

Thank you, Charlestown

Christmas gift drive exceeds goals

SANTA'S WORKSHOP: in Tim Quillen's (L) garage sorting donations
into gift bags. With Tim, CDTC members Suzanne Ferrio and Regina
DeAngelo who chaired the effort for the CDTC
This Christmas, Charlestown Democrats teamed up with Operating Engineers Local 57 to bring some joy to children who have been taken under the care of the RI Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) in South County. The goal was to fulfill the Christmas gift wish lists of 30 of these children.

These children, aged two years old to 17, are in foster care or shelters. Their wish lists were often heartbreakingly modest – one child asked for socks. Several asked for pajamas. Others asked for towels and blankets. A couple of them are approaching 18, when they will “age out” of DCYF, and their wish lists focused on household goods they would need to set up life on their own.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Help us brighten the holidays for children in RI shelters and foster care this year.

The Charlestown Democratic Committee (CDTC) and the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 57 are running a gift drive for South County children in care of the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thank you, Charlestown!

Thank you to all that supported myself and the rest of the candidates on Charlestown's Democratic slate!  It was a tough election season with a lot of hard work from the support team. I am very excited to be a voice for the residents of Charlestown. 

I will strive to keep all of our citizens needs in mind while tackling issues that effect us and our town. I was very humbled to receive so much support leading up to, and on the day of the election. It has reaffirmed my belief that taking time out of our life's  to help others is the rite thing to do.

Brandon T. Cleary

Monday, October 29, 2012

Charlestown Democrats meet with neighbors, legislators about COPAR quarry violations

COPAR Must Obey the Law, Stay out of Charlestown
Reviewing the maps to see where illegal quarrying is taking place
Rep. Donna Walsh, Tim Quillen (CDTC Town Council candidate) and Frank Glista (CDTC Planning Commission candidate) met with neighbors of the COPAR Quarry as well as Rep. Brian Patrick Kennedy and Sen. Dennis Algiere to see what can be done to stop environmental problems caused by the quarrying operation.
The COPAR quarry sits on the Westerly side of the Westerly-Charlestown town line. The owners and lessors of the quarry site have been repeatedly cited for violating federal and state law, as well as town ordinances. The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration has cited and fined the quarry for dozens of safety violations in recent months.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Volunteers Needed

Are you ready to work for change?

There are lots of ways you can help to make our community a better place, whether you have lots of time or only a little. But if you believe, as we do, that we need to support candidates for public office who share our values, it’s time to step up.

The Charlestown Democratic Town Committee needs people to volunteer to help us win on November 6. We are also coordinating with the re-election campaigns of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Rep. Jim Langevin, with Rep. Donna Walsh’s re-election efforts, and with Cathie Rumsey’s campaign to win the state Senate seat for District 34, a big district that covers Charlestown north of Route 1.

Whether you want a yard sign to put in front of your house or are prepared to commit some time to go door-to-door, phone-bank or work at the polls, let us know. 

Contact us by e-mail at or click here.

Here are just a few of the things you can volunteer to do:

  • Put up a yard sign in front of your house
  • Write Letters to the Editor
  • Pass out campaign flyers
  • Participate in a phone bank to registered voters
  • Host a “meet and greet” gathering at your house for candidates
  • Help get the word out about our candidates to your neighbors
  • Be part of door-to-door canvassing that will be conducted by the national and state campaigns
  • Help us at the polls on Election Day, November 6
  • Donate to the CDTC or to the candidate of your choice

Monday, October 15, 2012

New Yard Signs, flyers are in

Show your support for change in Charlestown

The new CDTC Yard Signs are here - these are standard-sized 18 x 24 signs on metal stands, one with the three endorsed Democrats for Town Council and the other with the four endorsed candidates for Planning Commission.

If you want a yard sign or have neighbors and friends in high-traffic areas who do, please send us an e-mail and we'll get back to you the same day.

We also have yard signs for Rep. Donna Walsh, as well as for Cathie Cool Rumsey who is running for state Senate District 34 (Charlestown north of One). 

We also have some yard signs for Rep. Jim Langevin and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.

Again, send us an e-mail and we'll get back to you promptly.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Monday, September 10, 2012

Help support change in Charlestown

Please support the Charlestown Democratic slate!

With a large field of twelve people running for Town Council and another ten for the Planning Commission, it’s going to be a tough and complicated election.

This election will determine whether the same group that has dominated Charlestown politics for the past six years will continue its policies that have pitted neighbor against neighbor, favored out of state vacationers over residents, favored tax cuts for the wealthy, attacked small businesses and working families, and intruded into the lives of every family and business it town.

We think it’s time for a change. But to make that long overdue change possible, we need your support.

With so many candidates running for office, it will take a lot of yard signs, newspaper ads, flyers and mailers to bring our candidates’ names and positions to the voters. Plus, we will need to meet the challenge we expect to see when out-of-state money starts pouring in to the CCA and the RI Statewide Coalition to maintain their grip on power.

As one Republican activist said more than a century ago, “There are two things that are important in politics. The first is money, and I can’t remember what the second is.

To support our slate of ten candidates, we ask you to donate to support the Charlestown Democratic Town Committee’s campaign for change in Charlestown.

Please send your personal check to:

Charlestown Democratic Town Committee
P.O. Box 1088
Charlestown RI 02813

Click here to see more about our endorsed slate: 
  • For Town Council: Paula Andersen, Tim Quillen and Tom Ferrio
  • For Planning Commission: Melina Lodge, Frank Glista, Michael Breton and Brandon Cleary
  • For Town Moderator: Henry Walsh

Click here for a form you can send in with your donation, and to see the rules set by Rhode Island’s campaign finance laws.

We also urge you to support the campaigns of the three terrific CDTC-endorsed candidates for the General Assembly:

P.O. Box 1380
Charlestown, RI 02813

30 Jeannette Court
Exeter RI 02822

Box 560
Wyoming, RI 02898

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Come meet Cathie Rumsey, candidate for Senate District 34

Town Democrats and Rep. Donna Walsh host a reception for Catherine Rumsey, our next Senator for Senate District 34

On Monday, September 10th, come meet and support Catherine Cool Rumsey, who is running with the CDTC endorsement for the state Senate seat currently held by Frank Maher.

Under re-districting, Senate District 34 now includes almost all of Charlestown north of Route 1.

Read further for the details.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Town Democrats turn out to support Sen. Whitehouse

We had a full table of Charlestown Democrats on Sunday, August 19, at Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s annual family clambake.

The event was part food nirvana, part political rally and a large part social, as a record turn-out came to the Senator’s annual feast at the Kempenaar’s Clambake Club in Middletown. Hundreds of state Democrats turned out to support Senator Whitehouse, as well as his two House colleagues, Rep. David Cicilline and Rep. Jim Langevin, all of whom are up for re-election this year.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Cathie Rumsey gains support for Senate bid

Cathie Cool Rumsey, Democrat for State Senate, District 34, has first fundraiser July 23 at the Cornerstone Pub in Exeter.
Catherine Cool Rumsey, Democratic candidate for
State Senate, District 34
By Regina DeAngelo

I met Cathie while we both worked as volunteers for Organizing for America. I can boast that our personal sweat went into getting the Affordable Care Act passed.

Monday's event brought out supporters from around Rhode Island, including George Carvalho, chief of staff for Senator Whitehouse as well as  Scott Andrews from the Whitehouse campaign; Seth Klaiman, campaign manager and Mike DeAngelis from Senator Langevin's office; RI Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed and her chief of staff, Tom Coderre; Representative Larry Valencia and his wife Patti; Arlene Hicks, Exeter Town Council President; Bob Johnson, Exeter Town Democratic Committee chair; Pat DeBernardo of The Richmond Democratic Committee; and Tim Quillen, Scott Keeley and myself, representing Charlestown Democrats. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Charlestown Democrats Endorse General Assembly Candidates

Rep. Donna Walsh
By a unanimous vote, the Charlestown Democratic Town Committee (CDTC) endorsed the re-election bid of State Representative Donna Walsh (District 36).

“Donna has been an exemplary Representative for Charlestown and the other towns in her district,” said CDTC chair Catherine O’Reilly Collette. “We will work hard to ensure she returns to the General Assembly to continue to work to improve our economy, protect our environment, make our roads safer and to save family farms.”

“Donna works hard for the four towns in her District and we can see the tangible results of her work in better roadways and a healthier Ninigret Pond. We really need her in the General Assembly,” said Collette.

Catherine Cool Rumsey
Also by a unanimous vote, the CDTC endorsed Catherine Cool Rumsey’s candidacy for Senate District 34, a seat currently held by Republican Frank Maher. “Redistricting has greatly expanded the amount of Charlestown that now falls into Senate District 34,” said Collette, “So we have a heightened interest in ensuring our Senator works to meet the interests of our community.”

Collette continued, “We never see Senator Maher in Charlestown and can’t really think of anything he has ever done that benefits our town. By contrast, Cathy Cool Rumsey has visited Charlestown repeatedly and taken an interest in our civic life. We think she will make a great state Senator.”

Rep. Larry Valencia
The Committee also voted a resolution of support and thanks to state Representative Larry Valencia (District 39) whose district no longer includes Charlestown under the re-drawn electoral map. “We support Larry’s campaign for a second term because, based on his outstanding record in his first term, he has proven himself to be a great legislator,” said CDTC Chair Collette. “We are especially grateful to him for his work to promote fair tax policies where everyone pays their fair share at the state level, and for his support for our effort for tax justice at the town level.”

Later this month, the Charlestown Democratic Town Committee will file its endorsements for its slate of candidates for Charlestown elected office. “Charlestown needs a change in leadership badly to restore public trust in town government,” said Collette, “and our candidates will provide Charlestown with the new leadership it needs.”

Monday, June 18, 2012

Fundraiser Tag Sale July 7

Our Representative Donna Walsh flagging down cars
at last September's tag sale
The Charlestown Democratic Town Committee is announcing a fundraising tag sale to be held Saturday, July 7 on Old Post Road near the corner of Genwood Drive from 8 AM till 4 PM. 

You will also be able meet the CDTC’s slate of candidates and sign their nomination papers!

But right now we ask you to look through your stuff in the attic and basement for things you can donate to the tag sale for the 2012 campaign. Let CDTC Treasurer Frank Glista know via e-mail and he can arrange either for a drop-off time or a pick-up.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Welcome to our new website

It doesn't look a lot different, yet, but it's all-new technology that will help us communicate with you more effectively. We're still working out a few rough spots but we'll be all ready for the start of the election season in July.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Charlestown Democrats Endorse Whitehouse, Langevin for Re-election

By a unanimous vote, the Charlestown Democratic Town Committee endorsed the re-election bids of US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and US Representative James Langevin.

“Rhode Island is lucky to have one of the very best Congressional delegations of any state in the Union,” said Committee Chair Cathy Collette. “Sen. Whitehouse and Rep. Langevin have worked hard for the people of Rhode Island and for the good of our country. There was no question, hesitation or reservation among our members about enthusiastically supporting their re-election efforts.”

Representative Langevin spoke at the February meeting of the Charlestown Democrats and the Committee hosted a very successful event for Senator Whitehouse here in Charlestown last September.

At the end of June, the Charlestown Democratic Town Committee will introduce its slate of endorsed candidates for local and state offices.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Important Budget Meeting Monday, May 7th

Charlestown Voters Should have the right to vote on $475,000 payment for the YMCA Camp as a separate ballot item
By Catherine O'Reilly Collette, CDTC Chair

Would you let someone pick your pocket without saying a word? Well that’s what’s in the works here in Charlestown right now.

The Public Hearing on the budget starting fiscal year starting July 1st will take place Monday, May 7th at 7:00pm at Town Hall.

In the budget is $475,000 for the broken down old YMCA Camp on Watchaug Pond to be used as “Open Space”. As you know if you’ve been following this issue, this seems to many in town to be a really bad deal for Charlestown taxpayers. The Budget Commission has recommended that in order to save bond interest the money be included in the town budget rather than the existing Open Space and Recreation bond.

The problem is that our town Charter requires any land expenditures over $50,000 be a separate item so that voters can vote it up or down without having to defeat the entire budget.

We are still not clear how this $475,000 will be handled, but if you agree that taxpayers should have a right to have a separate warrant item on this very dubious use of town funds we urge you to come out next Monday night!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Our committee wants to debate issues, not personnel

The Charlestown Citizens Alliance (CCA), in a recent email and posting on its website, states, "The Charlestown Democratic Town Committee finds no problem with the Town Administrator's behavior. CCA disagrees. Honesty matters."

We have to ask, where is the CCA's honesty? The fact is that the Charlestown Democratic Town Committee (CDTC) has not taken a formal position on the town administrator's actions, which are a personnel matter that should not be politicized as the CCA is doing. Several of our members have indeed spoken and written eloquently as individual citizens in support of Mr. DiLibero and our hard-working town staff, as is their right. They have challenged the unfair and unfounded attacks coming from the CCA members of the Council, Tom Gentz and Dan Slattery.

As events have unfolded, the CCA's attacks against town staff, and against the CDTC, have been shown to be deceptive and distorted to suit the CCA's interests, particularly their outlandish claims that the town must yield control of Ninigret Park to the federal government.

The CDTC looks forward to debating the CCA over the issues that matter to Charlestown voters, such as fair taxes, sensible land use and environmental protection, our local economy, the educational, housing and recreational needs of our children and what constitutes good government.

We will debate them over the issues of adherence to the town charter and the CCA's practice of bypassing or abusing the many civic-minded volunteers who serve on town commissions, when it suits the CCA agenda. We will do so as a town committee as well as in our own names. We will encourage and support individual townspeople to bring their own points of view to the debate. We will not speak anonymously or speak on issues without a thorough search for and understanding of the facts relating to those issues.

If "honesty matters" to the CCA, the CDTC calls on it to actually practice it, rather than use it as a slogan to attack others.

Catherine O'Reilly Collette, Charlestown
The writer is chair of the Charlestown Democratic Town Committee.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Open letter to the Charlestown Town Council

January 3, 2012 - On December 12, 2011, the Town Council majority addressed the interests of non-resident and high-value property owners when it rejected the Charlestown Democratic Town Committee’s proposal for a $1000 Homestead Tax Credit.

Amid the long and bitter denunciation of our proposal was the occasional glimmer of concern for the more than 2000Charlestownhouseholds who live in more modest homes. These residents struggle to make ends meet in this tough economy where jobs are scarce, benefits are being cut, food and energy prices are rising while home values are falling and credit is in short supply.

We designed our proposal, patterned after the other tax credits in our town, for theseCharlestownfamilies. You turned that proposal down. We understand that. It’s politics.

But now we are all left with this question: what, if anything, will this Town Council do to provide struggling middle and lower-income homeowners with tax relief?

Councilors Avedisian and Frank both suggested that there should be more study done of the issues of tax justice inCharlestown.

The Charlestown Democratic Town Committee asks you to act on their recommendation and assemble a body of citizens to review the economic concerns ofCharlestownresidents with an eye toward specific tax remedies.

We urge that this body be representative of the people who actually live and vote inCharlestown, rather than the non-residents who dominated the December 12 proceedings. Of course, as the initiators of this process, we respectfully request a meaningful presence on that body.

Though we were disappointed with the outcome of the December 12 meeting, we believe the Town Council owesCharlestown’s working families at least as much concern and attention as you gave to the non-residents who convinced you to kill our Homestead Tax Credit proposal.

Catherine O’Reilly Collette, Chair