Warwick Beacon: WPD to use $375K grant to hire 3 Community Engagement Officers

Originally Published by The Warwick Beacon 10/11/2016

Warwick and Portsmouth and Police Departments will hire additional law enforcement officers to enhance school-based policing and community engagement efforts in their respective communities under a $625,000 grant announced Oct. 7 by U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Representatives Jim Langevin and David Cicilline. 

The federal grants are administered by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office, which awarded $119 million in grants to police departments nationwide this week as part of the COPS Hiring Program, or CHP.

Warwick Police is being awarded $375,000 to hire three Community Engagement Officers to build relationships and trust through community engagement, and especially to help the WPD address mental health issues in the community.  While the WPD has developed and implemented strategies to work with students who are prone to criminal behavior due to mental health issues, the new officers will help the department work with community partners and stakeholders to extend community outreach and help young adults who are out of school and need assistance.

“Even with tight budgets, public safety must be our top priority.  This federal funding will help Portsmouth and Warwick meet that goal by hiring additional police officers for the community,” said Reed, a member of the Appropriations Committee in a statement.

“These awards will help put more Rhode Island police officers in our neighborhoods to fight crime and keep our schools safe,” said Whitehouse. “Congratulations to the Warwick and Portsmouth Police Departments on these well-deserved grants, and for your commitment to the communities you serve.”

“Public safety is always a top priority, and COPS grants have consistently helped police departments across the state to be funded and staffed at adequate levels. Congratulations to Warwick and Portsmouth on successfully competing for these federal dollars, which will significantly aid in their efforts to keep Rhode Islanders safe,” said Congressman Jim Langevin.

Launched in 1994, the COPS Hiring Program provides funds directly to law enforcement agencies to hire, preserve, and/or rehire police officers and helps local police departments increase their community policing capacity and crime prevention efforts.

Morning Consult: Russia’s Role in Political Hacking: What They’re Saying So Far

By Amir Nasr

Overshadowed by the fast-paced news dumps of the “Trump Tapes,” the second presidential debate and WikiLeaks releases was a massive joint announcement Friday from the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that the U.S. intelligence community is “confident” the Russian government orchestrated hacks on the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

DHS and the office of the DNI said that the hacks and subsequent disclosure of the emails were “intended to interfere with the US election process.”

“The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts,” the joint statement said. “We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.”

While various news outlets reported U.S. intelligence were confident of Kremlin involvement in the hacking of the Democratic Party organizations, this marked the first time the government publicly blamed Russia for meddling in the U.S. election.

Members of Congress from both parties wanted to see a stop to the interference now that the acknowledgment was public.

Senate Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) called on the government to put a stop to Russia’s activities. “If it does not, we must develop a strong response,” she said.

Feinstein said: ““The statement released by the Department of Homeland Security and Director of National Intelligence closely mirrors my joint statement with Congressman Adam Schiff, ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee. The administration’s acknowledgement that Russian intelligence agencies are attempting to influence the U.S. election and undermine public confidence conveys the seriousness of the threat. Attempted hacking of our election system is intolerable, and it’s critical to convince the Russian government to cease these activities. If it does not, we must develop a strong response.”

Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Chairman Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) said he plans to introduce legislation that would require the White House to investigate the Russian cyber-criminals and “aggressively pursue sanctions when appropriate,” according to a Friday release.

The “news is further evidence of what happens when the Obama Administration fails to take the cyber threat seriously. That is why I plan to introduce legislation that builds upon my North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act by mandating the Administration sanction Russia’s bad actors who are responsible for malicious cyber activities,” Gardner said in a statement. “Russia’s interference with American democracy is a direct threat to our political process, and it may only be the tip of the iceberg. It is imperative that Russia’s behavior is met with strength in the form of aggressive sanctions to show the world that its cybercrimes will not be tolerated.”

House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) called on the U.S. to work with European allies that Russia had targeted with similar hacking operations to develop a response protecting the country from further intrusions.

“I applaud the Administration’s decision to publicly name Russia as the source of hacks into U.S. political institutions,” Schiff said in a Friday statement. “We should now work with our European allies who have been the victim of similar and even more malicious cyber interference by Russia to develop a concerted response that protects our institutions and deters further meddling. All of us should be gravely concerned when a foreign power like Russia seeks to undermine our democratic institutions, and we must do everything in our power to guard against it. This is why Senator Feinstein and I have been urging state election officials to take every precaution and to avail themselves of the cyber expertise offered by the Department of Homeland Security.”

Co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) said the U.S. will “hold [Russia] President [Vladimir] Putin directly accountable for his misguided attempts to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt,” in a Saturday statement.

“Cyber attacks on the people and processes central to our democracy cannot go unchecked. These actions threaten to undermine the American peoples’ faith in our elections, and I commend President Obama identifying Russia as the perpetrator of such hacks,” Langevin said in the statement. “Russia’s expanding information warfare operations and interference in democracies – here and abroad – are intended to destabilize. But I have faith in the citizens of the United States and our allies and their ability to stand resilient in the face of these deceitful attacks. We will stand united with our NATO partners to turn back these attempts to undermine our freedom.”

Block Island Times: USDA programs help island business

Block Island Times: USDA programs help island business

Block Island Times: Cybersecurity takes center stage

Block Island Times: Cybersecurity takes center stage

By Cassius Shuman

Citing the importance of cybersecurity and the employment opportunities it can provide, U.S. Rep. James Langevin (D) said, “It’s a an important issue, and a security threat that presents many challenges.” Langevin discussed that subject, and a few others, when he visited with the staff of The Block Island Times on Wednesday, Oct. 5.

“We should all have a healthy concern about cybersecurity in this country,” said Langevin. “Nobody uses the internet more than in the United States.”

Langevin, who is co-chair of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus, said that online security and global terrorism are the country’s two major threats. He noted that “raising awareness, cyber hygiene and password protection” are essential to protection from cyber threats.

Langevin said one of the “more vulnerable” internet networks in this country is the voter registration system. “The FBI and Homeland Security have evidence that the Russians, or foreign entities, have certainly been probing, trying to look into our voter registration system,” he said. “So everyone is working overtime to protect those systems. The state of Rhode Island, as well as the federal government, is working closely with Homeland Security to ensure that the voter registration systems are as safe and secure as possible.”

“The real danger is that they could undermine confidence in the country’s election system,” added Langevin. They could do that “by sewing doubt into whether an election outcome is genuine, legitimate, etc.”

With regard to Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump joking that Russia should hack into Hilary Clinton’s email server, Langevin said he thought Trumps remark was “outrageous, highly objectionable and very disappointing. It’s another example of bringing the election, and campaign, to a new low.”

Langevin said that while cybersecurity presents its challenges, it also can provide job opportunities. “It’s a jobs issues we need to focus on. It’s an opportunity for our young people,” he said, “because we don’t have nearly enough people going into the Information Technology or cybersecurity fields. I hope that our young people will consider that as an option.”

Langevin noted that “there are a number of programs” he supports related to cyber-based careers. “CyberPatriot is one of those programs,” he said. “It’s a competition for kids that are good with computers. There’s also the Cyber Corps program. It’s a joint program between the Department of Homeland Security and the National Science Foundation.”

“We need more support for these programs,” added Langevin, noting his support of the Every Student Succeeds Act (2015), which is a new federal education law that replaced the No Child Left Behind Act (2001). “We have a skills gap in our state, and across the country.”

On Sept. 15, Langevin filed legislation called the Offshore Wind Incentives for New Development Act, which is aimed at ensuring extension of federal tax credits for offshore wind energy projects from 2019 to 2025. “It’s all complementary” in providing tax incentives for the offshore and renewable energy businesses in the northeast. “Sen. (Sheldon) Whitehouse is working with us on this,” he said. “He’ll be introducing the companion bill.”

Langevin said that he tries “to come out to Block Island whenever possible.” He noted that the boat ride was a little “rough” coming over to the island on Wednesday. “But I’m a guy who likes a little turbulence on an airplane, so I don’t mind a bumpy ride,” he said.

Warwick Beacon: Doing his own survey

Warwick Beacon: Doing his own survey

By The Warwick Beacon

As part of Rhode Island Manufacturing Week and his ongoing program to visit area businesses, Congressman James Langevin visited Astra Nova just over the Warwick line in West Warwick Tuesday afternoon. The manufacturer of data visualization technology employs 250 in Rhode Island and is a major supplier of highly technical high-speed printers used in aircraft. Langevin said he is amazed by the “talented people” he’s met on his business tours and that the experience has reinforced his belief that “manufacturing is not dead; it has become advanced and high tech. We need to get the word out to many young people that this is an option.” As part of the tour, Langevin asked employees where they had graduated. At Astra Nova he found graduates of New England Institute of Technology, CCRI and the Coventry Career and Technical Center. Explaining the functions of a device that monitors various systems to the congressman are Daniel Ricci, Alex Lamake and the company’s president and CEO Gregory Woods. (Warwick Beacon photo)

Clean Water Action Endorses Congressman Jim Langevin in General Election

Clean Water Action Endorses Congressman Jim Langevin in General Election

Clean Water Action is pleased to announce its endorsement of US Congressman Jim Langevin for Rhode Island’s Second Congressional District seat in the general election on Tuesday, November 8th.

Since his election in 2000, Congressman Langevin has worked to represent Rhode Island’s environmental concerns and priorities at the national level. He has championed the implementation of a comprehensive marine management plan for the waters of the northeast, led the effort to extend tax credits that encourage the development of new renewable energy projects, and has consistently supported funding measures for the study and protection of Rhode Island’s estuaries and coastal resources.

In addition, he received a score of 100% on Clean Water Action’s 2013-2014 National Legislative Scorecard for his opposition to efforts to undermine the Clean Water Act, roll back safeguards for public health, and weaken carbon emissions regulations.

“Throughout his long tenure in the US House of Representatives, Congressman Langevin has worked tirelessly to ensure the protection of our state’s environment and stewardship of its natural resources,” said Johnathan Berard, Clean Water Action’s Rhode Island State Director. “He understands the threats that our communities face from climate change and has demonstrated leadership in addressing these threats through his support of renewable energy development and his work protecting our rivers, ponds, and oceans. Clean Water Action is proud to endorse Congressman Langevin for Rhode Island’s Second Congressional District.”

WPRO: Repainted, the symbolic Rocky Point ‘arch’ is unveiled

WPRO: Repainted, the symbolic Rocky Point ‘arch’ is unveiled

By Steve Klamkin WPRO News

The newly repainted arch at Rocky Point in Warwick was unveiled in a public ceremony Monday, with speeches by public officials that sparked memories of the long-gone amusement park.

“You think of things like the Shore Dinner Hall and the chowder and the clam cakes that you could get here. I could almost taste them almost,” said Congressman Jim Langevin. “So many fond, fond memories.”

The arch, one of 11 displayed at the New York City World’s Fair of 1964-65 made its way to Warwick by unknown means, said Mayor Scott Avedisian.

“The arch, originally created by General Mills, the cereal company, was one of 11 originals that represented peace through understanding, and stood as markers during New York’s World’s Fair,” said Avedisian.

Long rusted and unused during the years that Rocky Point stood abandoned, the arch was repainted by a city employee. The cost was covered by more than $5,000 in grant money from the Rhode Island Foundation, in a project overseen by the non-profit Rocky Point Foundation, headed by newspaper publisher John Howell.

“The arch really fit very well at the time with an amusement park, and here it comes sort of full circle, and now is representing not only a place, hopefully of peace, but a bright future … for future generations to enjoy this place,” Howell said.

Providence Journal: North Kingstown Post Office will be named for Melvoid Benson at ceremony Sunday

By Donita Naylor
Journal Staff Writer

NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — A ceremony Sunday will rename the U.S. Post Office on Post Road for the late Melvoid J. Benson, a teacher, public servant, activist for social justice and trailblazer for women of color in elected office.

Among the speakers will be Benson’s niece, Elizabeth Estes, as well as the entire R.I. delegation to the U.S. Congress, Governor Raimondo and a U.S. Postal Service district manager.

Benson had known of the effort to name the facility after her. U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin, who sponsored the bill in the House, had kept her posted on its progress. He last spoke with her a few days before she died, on June 11 at age 86.

“I hoped to have her by my side when we cut the ribbon on the Melvoid J. Benson Post Office, but I’m at least grateful that I had the chance to tell Mel that it was happening,” he wrote the day after her death.

Remembered as a mentor by many leaders who served with her during her seven terms in the R.I. House, Benson counted the planning of the Quonset Business Park as one of her favorite achievements. She was often quoted as saying her parents taught her that “every generation must do better than the last.”

Born in 1930 in Jackson, Tennessee, and named after her father, who shoveled coal on trains, she was the youngest of four children. Her mother taught in a one-room schoolhouse.

Benson followed her husband, Arnathia N. Benson, to Rhode Island when he was stationed at Quonset Point with the Navy. They had two sons, Gilbert, who died in a car accident at age 16, and Estes, who played football for the University of Rhode Island. Estes died of leukemia at age 40.

“Be the Match” representatives will be at the event to help register potential bone marrow donors. Benson supported efforts to find donors for leukemia patients.

In 1997, the year Estes died, Benson offered to house then-17-year-old Lamar Odom, who had lost his mother when he was 12. The future basketball star was enrolled at URI, but NCAA rules prevented her from providing him with anything more than a home-cooked meal. He accepted.

Benson taught in public schools for more than 25 years and served eight years on the North Kingstown School Committee.

Sunday’s ceremony, with a Rhode Island State Police honor guard and singers from North Kingstown’s First Baptist and United Methodist churches, begins at 1 p.m. at the North Kingstown Post Office, 7715 Post Rd.

The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Progressive Charlestown: House passes bill to strengthen career and technical education

Progressive Charlestown: House passes bill to strengthen career and technical education

Originally Published by Progressive Charlestown

Langevin an Original Co-Sponsor on Strengthening CTE for the 21st Century Act

The House passed H.R. 5587, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, a bill championed by Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Congressman Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA), co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus, and Congresswoman Katherine Clark (D-MA). Langevin is an original cosponsor of the bill, which reauthorizes and modernizes the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act.

“I have always taken pride in my ability to work in a bipartisan manner, and this legislation is a prime example of what we can accomplish when we come together to support meaningful, important policy. Career and technical education is a critical piece of workforce development, and I am fortunate to have a fierce partner in Congressman Thompson,” said Langevin. “This legislation makes many necessary updates to the Perkins Act, with an emphasis on training students for the skills they’ll need in high-growth sectors in this 21st century economy.”

The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act is the first reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins CTE Act since the bill expired in 2012. It better connects classrooms with workforce trends and encourages strong partnerships between educators, employers, and community partners, ensuring opportunities for underserved students, in particular. The legislation also promotes the implementation of innovative CTE programs, improving outcomes through an increased focus on employability skills, work-based learning opportunities, and meaningful credentialing that would make students more competitive. Additionally, the bill includes components of Langevin’s Counseling for Career Choice Act and provides stronger supports so that professional school counselors can appropriately advise young people on all of the options available to them.

“I am thrilled to see this legislation move forward because providing workers with the skills necessary to thrive in the modern economy is essential to our economic prosperity,” Langevin continued. “This bill will help students to bridge the gap between classroom theory and workplace practice, and align skills and training with employer needs. It’s a win-win for students and employers, and it’s a major victory in our efforts to close the skills gap and create a more resilient, sustainable workforce.”

Prior to House passage, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act passed unanimously out of the Committee on Education and the Workforce. Langevin thanked Clark for her stewardship of the bill in committee, and thanked Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA) for their commitment to shepherding the bill to the House Floor.

“Today’s vote is the result of an inclusive and thoughtful process, and I am proud to have been part of this effort,” Langevin said. “I want to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for helping to bring this bill to the Floor, and I urge the Senate to take it up without delay.”