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Aaron Regunberg (born January 26, 1990) is a Democratic American politician currently working as a senior adviser on policy for Providence, Rhode Island mayor, Jorge Elorza.[1] He served as the member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives for the 4th District from 2015 to 2019, and he was the losing candidate for the Democratic nomination for Lieutenant Governor of Rhode Island in 2018.

Aaron Regunberg
Member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives
from the 4th district
In office
January 6, 2015 – January 1, 2019
Preceded byGordon Fox
Succeeded byRebecca Kislak
Personal details
Born (1990-01-26) January 26, 1990 (age 29)
Political partyDemocratic
EducationBrown University (BA)
WebsiteState House website

Contents

Early careerEdit

In 2010 he co-founded the Providence Student Union with Zack Mezera and students from Hope High School.[2] The Providence Student Union is a youth-led public school student advocacy organization that has organized around issues including ethnic studies curricula,[3] infrastructure repairs,[4] free student bus passes,[5] and an end to school closings and high-stakes testing.[6]

Rhode Island House of RepresentativesEdit

In 2014, Regunberg was elected to serve Rhode Island House District 4 on the East Side of Providence.

ElectionsEdit

2014

In the race for Rhode Island House District 4, Regunberg won 51.5% of the vote in the Democratic Primary against challengers, Heather Tow-Yick and Miriam Ross, who won 33.9% and 14.6% respectively. Regunberg received the endorsement of Progressive Democrats of Rhode Island, Clean Water Action, and State Reps Edith Ajello and Joe Almeida. Regunberg went on to defeat independent candidate Ethan Gyles in the General Election, 83% to 17%.[7]

2016

Regunberg ran unopposed in the Democratic Primary and in the General Election for Rhode Island House District 4.

TenureEdit

During his first term as State Representative, he introduced and passed legislation raising Rhode Island's tipped minimum wage for the first time in 20 years, establishing online voter registration, and creating new renewable energy programs.[8] Regunberg also introduced and passed legislation to guarantee earned paid sick days for over 100,000 Rhode Islanders who never before had this security,[9] create and has pushed for a state-level carbon pricing system,[10] and establish a more progressive tax system, among other proposals.[11] He also chairs a special legislative study commission to reform the use of solitary confinement in Rhode Island.[12]

Regunberg served as a member of the Rules Committee for the Democratic National Convention in July 2016, where he was a leader in the campaign to reform the Democratic Party's use of superdelegates in future presidential nominating contests.[13]

Since the election of Donald Trump, Aaron Regunberg has been working locally to resist the Trump administration's agenda. He co-founded Resist Hate RI, a coalition of activists and organizations that has mobilized hundreds of Rhode Island residents to take state and federal action in opposition to the Trump administration.[14] He has introduced legislation that would divest Rhode Island from any companies that contract to help build Trump's proposed border wall with Mexico.[15]

Regunberg received a 74% score from Common Cause Rhode Island in their 2015-2016 legislative scorecard,[16] and an A rating from the Environmental Council of Rhode Island.[17]

Committee AssignmentsEdit

2015

For the 2015 legislative session, Regunberg served on the following Rhode Island House of Representatives committees:[7]

  • Environment and Natural Resources
  • Health, Education and Welfare
2017

During the 2017 legislative session, Regunberg served on the following Rhode Island House of Representatives committees:[8]

  • Environment and Natural Resources
  • Labor

Campaign for Lieutenant Governor of Rhode IslandEdit

In late October 2017, Regunberg announced that he would run to become the Lieutenant Governor of Rhode Island in the 2018 election.[18] He ran against incumbent Lieutenant Governor Dan Mckee in the Democratic Primary. In his announcement speech, Regunberg said that if elected he would be a voice "for all of the Rhode Islanders who can’t afford that State House lobbyist." His bid received national attention when CNN named it one of the "9 Democratic primaries to watch in 2018."[19] The campaign was considered by some in the media to highlight the internal party split between the progressive wing and more conservative members of the party.[20][21]

Aaron Regunberg's campaign was endorsed by Planned Parenthood Votes! RI, RI-NOW, Rhode Island Sierra Club, Rhode Island Clean Water Action, 350.org RI, Our Revolution Rhode Island, Carpenters Local 330, the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Healthcare Professionals (RIFTHP), SEIU Local 1199, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 618, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 2323, Teamsters Local 251, UNAP Local 5019, United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 328, UAW Region 9A, UNITE HERE Local 26, the Rhode Island State Association of Fire Fighters, 32BJ SEIU, Rhode Island Working Families Party, Democracy for America, the Substance Abuse and Overdose Prevention PAC, the Young Democrats of Rhode Island and numerous Democratic elected officials across Rhode Island.

In March 2018, Regunberg received the endorsement of the Mayor of Providence, Jorge Elorza.[22] Regunberg has represented Providence's east side in the Rhode Island House of Representatives for two terms.

Regunberg was defeated in the Democratic primary election by the incumbent. Regunberg received 49% of the vote to Mckee's 51%.[23]

Since the election, Regunberg has served as a senior policy advisor to Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza. He will become a student at Harvard Law School in the fall of 2019.[24]

External linksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Donnis, Ian (January 11, 2019). "Regunberg Joining Elorza's City Hall As A Senior Adviser On Policy". The Public's Radio. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  2. ^ "PSU Profile in East Side Monthly | Providence Student Union". Providence Student Union. 2013-01-07. Retrieved 2017-02-15.
  3. ^ Borg, Linda (January 20, 2016). "'Our history matters': Providence students rally for ethnic studies curriculum". Providence Journal. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  4. ^ Ahlquist, Steve. "Providence Student Union calls on legislature to fix broken schools". RI Future.org. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  5. ^ Apps, Aaron (June 2, 2015). "Providence school busing routes require rethinking". Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  6. ^ "'Providence Student Union'". Providence Student Union. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  7. ^ a b "J. Aaron Regunberg". Ballotpedia.
  8. ^ a b "Representative J. Aaron Regunberg". Rhode Island General Assembly.
  9. ^ "Rhode Island Democrats push to guarantee paid sick days". Los Angeles Times. February 8, 2017. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  10. ^ Fitzpatrick, Edward (January 25, 2016). "Regunberg's birthday wish — a 'carbon pricing' law". Providence Journal. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  11. ^ Regunberg, Aaron; Philippe Barros, Jean; Ranglin-Vassell, Marcia (February 14, 2017). "Aaron Regunberg, Jean Philippe Barros and Marcia Ranglin-Vassell: Workers struggle, wealthy thrive in R.I." Providence Journal. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  12. ^ Gourlay, Kristin (February 9, 2017). "The Pulse: Regunberg On Reforming Solitary Confinement In RI". Rhode Island Public Radio. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  13. ^ Fitzpatrick, Edward (July 25, 2016). "R.I legislator led charge against superdelegates". Providence Journal. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  14. ^ Ahlquist, Steve (November 13, 2016). "Resist Hate RI- Nearly 1000 people attend emergency meeting to resist Trump". RI Future.org. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  15. ^ "Representative Regunberg introduces bill to push back against Trump border wall". State of Rhode Island General Assembly. 14 February 2017. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  16. ^ "Common Cause Rhode Island Report" (PDF). Common Cause Rhode Island. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  17. ^ "Rhode Island General Assembly 2015-2016 Green Report Card" (PDF). Environment Council of Rhode Island.
  18. ^ Tempera, Jacqueline. "Rep. Regunberg announces run for lieutenant governor". providencejournal.com. Retrieved 2017-10-25.
  19. ^ Krieg, Gregory. "9 Democratic primaries to watch in 2018". CNN. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  20. ^ Krieg, Gregory. "9 Democratic primaries to watch in 2018". CNN. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  21. ^ Nesi, Ted (24 October 2017). "Regunberg kicks off bid for lieutenant governor, touting progressive platform". WPRI 12 Eyewitness News. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  22. ^ GoLocalProv News Team. "Elorza Flip-Flops, Backs Lt. Gov. Challenger Regunberg After Refusing to Support Ranglin-Vassell". GoLocalProv. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  23. ^ "Rhode Island Primary Election 2018". WPRI. WPRI. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  24. ^ Gregg, Katherine. "Former state Rep. Regunberg hired as adviser to Providence Mayor Elorza". providencejournal.com. Retrieved 2019-05-04.