"I won't wait until the water is at our door to start fighting to save our climate" - Michelle McGaw
Michelle is committed to fighting for proactive climate policies. She wants to see investments in green energy and infrastructure like making solar and wind energy more widely available, and also understands the nuance of how to increase these energy sources without diminishing open spaces, farmable land, and historic sites. She is also dedicated to finding ways to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels such as moving state vehicles and public transportation to electric, and increasing the number of electric vehicle charging stations available. Michelle drives an electric car and wants this to be an easier option for more Rhode Island commuters. She also wants to see public transportation supported, and is committed to investing in alternate transportation such as safely maintained bike lanes and greenways.
Michelle wants to protect our coastlines and low lying areas that are vulnerable to sea level rise. This relies on reducing emission and also working on proactive shoreline planning to prevent erosion. Michelle values the input of the experts including scientists, farmers, conservation groups and will form the planning of these projects around their expertise.
Michelle is proud to be endorsed or supported by:
- Sunrise RI, a youth led climate movement that is advancing the urgency of climate advocacy. View the endorsement here.
- Renew New England, a coalition of leading labor unions, racial justice organizations, frontline communities and environmental advocates.
Michelle is a pharmacist specializing in optimizing elder care, and has over 30 years of healthcare experience. She has worked in hospitals, nursing homes, pharmacies, and even insurance companies. She has seen firsthand the ways that insurance formularies can create barriers to care in the service of profits. She understands the systems from working with them for years, therefore knows where reforms are needed. Michelle believes everyone has a right to universal access to good quality healthcare, and that our healthcare shouldn't be tied to our jobs. Michelle supports a single payer universal healthcare system.
Click here to read the RI Political Coop policy paper on Universal Healthcare
we are a member of this Coop and we support this policy
"Without a constitutional amendment explicitly providing all students with a right to a quality education, our elected officials can continue to underfund Rhode Island’s schools, failing to provide our children with the level of education they deserve"
Michelle believes that education is the heart of building strong communities. She supports an amendment to RI's constitution to explicitly state that every Rhode Island child has a right to a quality education. She believes that our school funding formulas are too precarious and should not rely on property taxes which creates inequalities in our education across the state. Michelle will work to protect and support schools. She will advocate for state-wide strategies to mitigate student loan debt, which is a huge burden on Rhode Islanders and weighs down our economy.
Click here to read Michelle's Letter to the editor regarding the recent mass firing of Tiverton teachers, and what it says about school funding in general.
Click here to read the RI Political Cooperative policy paper on education
Michelle's work as a pharmacist centers on elder care. Michelle works closely with senior citizens and their caregivers, and will bring their voices to the State Government once elected. She will advocate for safe and affordable housing for seniors who wish to stay at home, and better funding and attention to the systems that help seniors age with dignity in managed care settings. This pandemic has been particularly painful on seniors, and those that love and care for them, especially in residential care settings. Even after this pandemic subsides, we must make sure that we are never sacrificing the rights and safety of our elders.
Michelle recognizes that true racial justice comes from a broad reaching intersectional strategy for reforms that touches all aspects of our society. She, and everyone on our campaign team strongly condemns the violent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and all those who have been killed by unchecked racism in our police systems. We also condemn the racism that causes the racial disparities in obstetric care, in particular putting Black, Indigenous, and Latinx parents and babies at much higher risk for complications and death than their white peers. But condemnation is not enough. Michelle pledges to fight for government reforms and policies that will uplift and build justice for those that have been excluded, marginalized, and oppressed throughout this country's history. Truly, every issue on this list from climate, to healthcare, to government reform, is a racial justice issue. We will always think of them that way. We see them each as a step toward a better world where race is not a determinant of anything other than a person's joyful expression of their own culture, as they choose to express it. Justice for all of us starts by building racial justice.
We stand by the RI Political Coop statement that states
"We believe that lasting change will only begin when we elect a multiracial government that includes and elevates Black and Brown Voices........ Electing a multiracial government, however, is just the first step. That government must then act to end the brutal reality of racial injustice.... We are committed to dismantling the systemic racism that pervades our society and to achieving true racial equality." read the full statement here
Michelle will support and advocate for our neighbors with special needs, disabilities, and neurodiversities. She will support policies that provide the necessary resources for people of all abilities, including workplace protections and support services for their caregivers and advocates. Michelle believes Rhode Islanders with disabilities should be free from discrimination, and that services shouldn't have an age limit.
Michelle stands up for the rights of all people to express their gender in the way that is most truthful to their own identity. She will fight for her constituents rights to be who they are, and to love who they love. She strongly supported the RI Parentage Act which preserves the rights and safety of LGBTQ+ RI parents and their children. The bill recognizes and protects diverse paths to parenting and families made up of biological and non-biological parents. Michelle also supports protections for gender affirming healthcare.
Michelle is a longtime advocate of reproductive freedom. To Michelle, true reproductive freedom means protecting the rights of people to birth their babies safely and to raise children in a just society. Reproductive freedom also includes protecting the legality and the access to abortion and contraception, and making sure everyone can access the reproductive healthcare they need, regardless of income. She spent many long hours at the state house lobbying for the Reproductive Health Care and Privacy acts which codified Roe V Wade into state law. She will continue to fight for this access.
Michelle has been advocating for changes to our state government for several years through the Rhode Island Democratic Women's Caucus. One of her top priorities is to work toward more transparency and accountability in government, so that our government works for the people and not for a powerful few. She will work hard to make sure that voting and participating in government is easy and protected for all RI citizens. She supports reforms that make the people we elect better able to represent us. Michelle has testified at the State House for rules reform to ensure better function of our state government including things as simple as giving the members of the general assembly time to read bills before voting on them, and more complex things that make it easier for bills to be heard and voted on in a timely fashion.
In Rhode Island, the power structures are too consolidated with the party leaders. Michelle wishes to see a diverse government that represents its citizens and works to put their needs first, not one that answers to the pressures of party leadership and corporate lobbyists.
click here to view Michelle's testimony on rules reform
Jobs, Wages, and the Economy
Michelle supports moving to a $15 minimum wage that then gets tied to inflation. She wants to see working people having the protections they need at every level, from adequate PPE, to paid sick time and family/parental leave, to disability insurance, and to secure retirement plans. She is a strong advocate for workers, and supports a fair tax policy that asks the wealthiest rhode islanders- those making over 467 thousand dollars per year— to pay their fair share of taxes, just like the rest of us do.
Click here to read the RI political Coop policy paper on fair wages
We are a member of the RI political Coop and support this policy
Click here to view Michelle testifying in favor of Gayle Golden's 2018 fair wage bill for gender parity in pay
Click here to read the RI political Coop policy paper on fair taxation
This policy paper explains that the top 1% of Rhode Islanders are not paying their fair share of taxes. It also includes data that debunks the myth that if RI's wealthiest are asked to pay their fair share, they will move away. They won't. We want to see a fair tax policy where everyone pays their fair share so that we can strengthen the social services, infrastructure, and resources we need to enhance.
There is a Housing crisis that stretched across this state, and it touches our communities here in District 71. We have a serious lack of affordable housing in our neighborhoods which makes it difficult to achieve the diversity that makes our communities strong. Young people and low income people struggle to afford places to live in our district, elders struggle to stay here as they age. Many families who do live here are cost-burdened. We believe that housing affordability is a key piece of building thriving sustainable communities.
Click here to read the RI political Coop policy paper on Affordable housing
Michelle is an advocate for sensible laws to reduce gun violence. She supports efforts like the Safe Schools Act which prevents concealed carry permit holders from bringing guns into k-12 schools. She's advocated for universal background checks, to prevent domestic abusers and violent offenders from obtaining firearms, and to ban assault style weapons.
Michelle is proud to be a Mom's Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate, this means that our campaign has been reviewed, and they have recognized Michelle as a strong advocate for gun violence prevention.