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Your Government

Government must be transparent and accountable to the people it serves in order to be effective. The federal, state, and local levels of government have important decision-making power over many issues important to you. As a constituent, you have a voice in the decision-making process. The information below will help you to identify which level of government has the most oversight over issues you care about and how to best make your voice heard.


Levels of Government

CITY/TOWN

CITY/TOWN

MAYOR
TOWN ADMINISTRATOR
CITY/TOWN COUNCIL
SCHOOL COMMITTEE

RHODE ISLAND

RHODE ISLAND

GOVERNOR
GENERAL OFFICERS
STATE SENATORS
STATE REPRESENTATIVES

UNITED STATES

UNITED STATES

PRESIDENT
VICE PRESIDENT
US SENATORS
US REPRESENTATIVES

+ Education
Funding for K-12 schools
CITY/TOWN RHODE ISLAND UNITED STATES
School vouchers
CITY/TOWN RHODE ISLAND UNITED STATES
Expansion of charter schools
CITY/TOWN RHODE ISLAND UNITED STATES
Free community college
CITY/TOWN RHODE ISLAND UNITED STATES
Debt reduction for student loans
CITY/TOWN RHODE ISLAND UNITED STATES
+ Environment
Reduce carbon emissions
CITY/TOWN RHODE ISLAND UNITED STATES
Expand recycling efforts
CITY/TOWN RHODE ISLAND UNITED STATES
Ban smoking on beaches
CITY/TOWN RHODE ISLAND UNITED STATES
Allow off-shore drilling
CITY/TOWN RHODE ISLAND UNITED STATES
Clean air and water regulations
CITY/TOWN RHODE ISLAND UNITED STATES
+ Economy
Reduce employer taxes
CITY/TOWN RHODE ISLAND UNITED STATES
Review regulatory climate
CITY/TOWN RHODE ISLAND UNITED STATES
Funding for job training programs
CITY/TOWN RHODE ISLAND UNITED STATES
Housing affordability
CITY/TOWN   UNITED STATES
Public incentives for small businesses
CITY/TOWN RHODE ISLAND UNITED STATES
RHODE ISLAND
+ Transportation
Funding for roads and highways
CITY/TOWN RHODE ISLAND UNITED STATES
Prohibit cell phone use while driving
CITY/TOWN RHODE ISLAND UNITED STATES
More bike paths and pedestrian friendly walkways
CITY/TOWN RHODE ISLAND UNITED STATES
More efficient public transportation
CITY/TOWN RHODE ISLAND UNITED STATES
Ensure ride sharing services are safe
CITY/TOWN RHODE ISLAND UNITED STATES
+ Public Safety
Legalize marijuana
CITY/TOWN RHODE ISLAND UNITED STATES
Town Intersection needs traffic signal
CITY/TOWN RHODE ISLAND UNITED STATES
Install better lighting in neighborhood park
CITY/TOWN RHODE ISLAND UNITED STATES
Use of police uniform cameras
CITY/TOWN RHODE ISLAND UNITED STATES
+ Health
Mandatory vaccinations
CITY/TOWN RHODE ISLAND UNITED STATES
Universal health care
CITY/TOWN RHODE ISLAND UNITED STATES
Prescription drug costs
CITY/TOWN RHODE ISLAND UNITED STATES
Opioid addiction services
CITY/TOWN RHODE ISLAND UNITED STATES
Taxes on cigarettes and alcohol
CITY/TOWN RHODE ISLAND UNITED STATES

Make Your Voice Heard

The following resources are designed to connect you directly with your government, provide information about voting, how laws are made, and the ways you can participate all to better engage with the different levels of Rhode Island government.

Voter Information Center

Voting is fundamental to our representative democracy and your civic participation is critical to our success as a state. Use the Voter Information Center to find out who your elected officials are, confirm your voter registration, or register to vote online.

Voter Information Center

Government Directory

The online Government Directory gives you 24/7 access to up‑to‑date contact information for federal, state, and local government officials in Rhode Island. You can also search the contact information for many local and state agencies.

Visit the Gov. Directory

Open Meetings

Meetings of all public bodies are open to the public in accordance to Rhode Island General Law Chapter 42-46. All meeting notices and agendas of upcoming meetings are filed online with the Secretary of State’s office. You can search these filings to find and attend those public meetings where issues you care about are being discussed.

Go to Open Meetings

Legislative Meetings and Hearings

In Rhode Island, your state legislators in the general assembly introduce bills that may eventually become laws affecting you. The general assembly holds committee meetings and hearings to hear opinions about the bills.

These legislative committee meetings and hearings are open to the public and often allow time for public comment and testimony. To participate, you can add your name to the sign-up sheets posted outside the meeting room on the day of the meeting. Anyone can indicate support or disapproval by adding your name to the sheet, or you can sign up to speak at the meeting.

Committee Calendars Committee Agendas

Lobbying in Rhode Island

As a constituent, you have every right to contact your government officials to share your ideas, concerns, and propose solutions to problems you see in your community. This is called lobbying and is essential to our representative form of government. In Rhode Island, the Lobbying Reform Act of 2016 simplified the definition of who needs to register their lobbying activities. Many individuals who want to share their concerns with public officials do not have to register as a lobbyist. Individuals lobbying on behalf of others or who are being paid to lobby, must register.

Lobby Tracker is a searchable database of individual lobbyists, lobbying firms, and organizations that are registered to lobby in the state. It includes the issues they are lobbying on as well how much they are being paid to do so.

Lobby Tracker

Rules and Regulations

A regulation is a document issued by a State agency, board or commission which interprets or implements a law. A regulation has the full force and effect of law, but an agency must have statutory authority to publish and enforce a regulation.

The rulemaking process is open to the public and is another way you can make your voice heard.

Rhode Island Code of Regulations