What’s Up Newp: Rhode Island Federal Delegation Announces $619K to Protect Narragansett Bay

What’s Up Newp: Rhode Island Federal Delegation Announces $619K to Protect Narragansett Bay

By Ryan Belmore

Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline today announced $619,322 in federal funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to support the Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve’s work to preserve and restore the coastal and estuarine ecosystems in Narragansett Bay.

“The Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is an important ecological and research resource for Rhode Island, giving us a barometer to observe changes in the natural environment in and around the Bay while also offering opportunities for education, recreation, and stewardship.  I want to commend the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and NOAA for their continuing partnership in managing this important reserve,” said Reed, a member of the Appropriations subcommittee which provides funding for NOAA programs.

“Narragansett Bay is Rhode Island’s most important natural resource,” said Whitehouse.  “A healthier Bay means a healthier economy.  With support from NOAA, our Research Reserve can continue its important work protecting our coastline and helping Rhode Island address the effects of climate change in the Bay.”

The Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is a partnership between NOAA and the state’s Department of Environmental Management (DEM) to promote informed management and sound stewardship of Rhode Island’s coastal resources.  The Reserve conducts research, education, stewardship, and training activities for students, educators, and coastal-related organizations.  The Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, which was founded in 1980, is a member of a network of 28 National Estuarine Research Reserves, representing distinct coastal ecosystems across the country.

“As we continue to assess, predict, and fight the effects of climate change, these funds will go a long way toward not only restoring damage along our coastline, but also making Rhode Island more resilient and protecting the environmental resources that play a vital role in our economy, tourism, recreation, and quality of life in our state,” said Langevin. “Congratulations and thank you to the Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve for your tireless work protecting our coastal and estuarine ecosystems, and for inspiring a new generation of environmental stewards through your advocacy and education.”

“The Narragansett Bay is a national treasure,” said Cicilline. “This critical funding is an important step to ensuring that future generations will have access to this natural marvel. It is also a vote of confidence in the stewardship of the Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, which has done an incredible job preserving and restoring the Bay.  This decades-long partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration and the RI Department of Environmental Management clearly represents the best in federal and state collaboration.”

The Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve encompasses 4,453 acres of land and waterways on Prudence, Patience, Hope, and Dyer Islands.  Properties owned by the Reserve are used as monitoring sites for detecting ecosystem shifts caused by climate change and coastal development.

“We are fortunate in Rhode Island to have the leadership of Senator Whitehouse and our Congressional delegation,” said DEM Director Janet Coit.  “The Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is conducting important research that will strengthen our state’s resilience and help preserve our precious water resources.  The Reserve is also an important training ground where both educators and families are learning about environmental science and stewardship, and cultivating a love of nature.  This funding will be put to good use, and we thank the Congressional delegation for their continued support of this incredible program.”

Christian Science Monitor: After DNC hack, US must better prepare for information warfare

Christian Science Monitor: After DNC hack, US must better prepare for information warfare

By Jim Langevin

Last week, the website WikiLeaks posted thousands of emails illegally obtained from the Democratic National Committee. Some contained sensitive information about donors, while others provided a disturbing look into a potential bias underpinning internal deliberations and operational decisions at the DNC.

As a Democrat, I am distressed by the appearance of favoritism in any form. However, as an American, I am deeply worried that our nation is still not adequately prepared for the new security challenges we face in cyberspace.

When I founded the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus in 2008, my foremost concern was that a cyberattack on critical infrastructure could result in physical damage, a fear made real with the attack on Ukraine’s electric utilities last December. While leading the caucus, I have also seen hackers break into databases in pursuit of financial information, trade secrets, and even personal details of government employees. All of these targets remain at risk.
But I’m afraid that our understanding of the threats in cyberspace is not keeping pace with the rapid advances in technology and the avenues of attack they enable. The DNC email leak, for instance, bears all the hallmarks of an information warfare operation, timed as it was to coincide with announcement of the Democratic vice presidential pick and the commencement of the convention.
The doctrine of information war is not new. We saw it used extensively during the cold war and it continues to be used today. During the illegal Russian annexation of Crimea, local news outlets were flooded with false stories of repression of ethnic Russian populations. The Russian television network RT that broadcasts in English, Arabic, and Spanish has deliberately disseminated inaccurate stories favorable to the Russian regime. New media have also been targets of recent campaigns: Witness the Russian “troll armies” who sow confusion on comment boards across the internet.

But these examples apply 20th-century thinking to 21st-century technology. In Crimea and with RT, Russia simply owns the television channels and can thus schedule programming as it wishes. The comment trolls rely on the free speech protections enshrined in many societies for decades or centuries. And, in this age of choose-your-own content, they rely on readers, viewers, or listeners making an active choice to tune in. This reliance hampers their ability to cause harm: after all, how many Americans watch RT?

The DNC hack is different. The content is fresh, salacious, and stolen, which means American news outlets are more than happy to do most of the dissemination. Though the data passed through foreign servers and may have been modified, many of the emails are, undoubtedly, authentic: They are impossible to dismiss as purely propaganda. They are also anonymous – the face of the leaks to this point has been WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who was almost certainly not involved in the theft of the emails.

All of which means we are likely to see many more hacks in this style. There has been a lot of speculation that Russia was behind the breach and the leak, and I have full confidence that government investigators will find those responsible. But whether the attack was carried out by the Russian government, at its behest, or by an independent party, the consequences of the hack are all too real.

Those opposed to our interests know all this. They also know that the cost of attacking us in cyberspace is low. While attribution is steadily getting better, it has been complemented with the rise of state-sanctioned private hackers whose ties to governments are murky at best.

So we have our work cut out for us. We need to raise our cyberdefenses in government and in the private sector, to make attackers work harder to get into our systems. We need to develop norms of nation state behavior in cyberspace that preclude attacks on civilian infrastructure and allow us to hold actors accountable. And we need to build resilience to lessen the payoff when breaches inevitably do happen.

In the eight years I have been working on cybersecurity, I have seen the issue gradually take on prominence. Most of my colleagues in Washington understand that the benefits we reap from our interconnected economy bring risks as well. But despite breach after breach, there is still not a sufficient urgency to the discussion. Cybersecurity is the security challenge of the Information Age. Our adversaries clearly know it; shouldn’t we?

Congressman Jim Langevin, a Democrat from Rhode Island, is the cofounder and cochair of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus, and a senior member of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees.

RIFuture: RI delegation celebrates historic roll call vote

By John McDaid


At the roll call vote in Philadelphia this evening, the Democratic National Convention formally nominated Hillary Rodham Clinton as their candidate for president. The votes of Rhode Island’s 32 delegates were announced by Speaker of the House Nick Mattielo, who, in the tradition of nominating speeches, took the opportunity to sing the praises of the state.

“Rhode Island is the proud home of the great Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen David Cicilline and James Langevin,” said Mattielo. “Home of outstanding beaches and coastlines, some of the best in the world. Great companies such as CVS, Textron, Hasbro, and now GE. A state that has recently proudly elected the first female governor, Gina Raimondo. The smallest state in the union with one of the biggest hearts. Home of the best restaurants in the country, great quality of life, great people. Rhode Island proudly casts 13 votes for Senator Bernie Sanders, and 19 votes for the next President of the United States, Hillary Rodham Clinton.”

When the roll call vote concluded, attendees in the Wells Fargo Center went into a prolonged celebration, cheering and waving Hillary placards.

“It was so exciting to be in this convention hall,” Langevin said, “When it became official that Hillary Clinton is the first woman to be the Democratic nominee, of any major party, for President of the United States. I’m glad it’s under the Democratic banner. I’m so proud to be a long-time supporter of Hillary Clinton, and I look forward to working so hard for her throughout the election cycle.”

Democratic Party Chair Joe McNamara echoed those sentiments.

“It was great to see the delegation come together and a tremendous experience,” he said. “I’m very proud of every single member of our delegation. The speaker did a great job promoting the positive attributes of Rhode Island versus the negative speech that happened last week in Cleveland, Ohio. He got the coastline, he got our corporations, he got GE moving in — it’s all about jobs and the economy and quality of life, and I think it came across very well.”

Warwick Post: CCRI wins $476K grant to help high schoolers study for college

Warwick Post: CCRI wins $476K grant to help high schoolers study for college

by Rob Borkowski

WARWICK, RI — Staying in school and preparing for college aren’t easy tasks for most students, so RI’s representatives in Congress are celebrating a $476,854 federal Educational Talent Search grant for the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) bolstering scholars’ study and career search skills.

U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Representatives Jim Langevin and David Cicilline have announced a $476,854 federal Educational Talent Search grant for the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI).

The Rhode Island Educational Talent Search (RIETS) program at CCRI provides a range of support services for students in grades 6 through 12, including help with study skills, test preparation, career counseling, and assistance in applying for financial aid.  While the program serves the entire state, it provides extensive and comprehensive services in three communities (Central Falls, Providence, and Woonsocket), and is projected to reach over 1,000 students in the coming year.

“CCRI does a terrific job of reaching out to students and providing them with opportunities for academic development. This federal funding will enable CCRI to reach more young people, help them stay in school, and achieve their goals in the classroom and beyond,” said Senator Reed, who helped secure a $60 million increase for Fiscal Year 2016 for the TRIO programs, including Talent Search, as a member of the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee.

“Every student deserves the opportunity to pursue higher education,” said Whitehouse.

“Low-income students, particularly those in low-performing schools, face an uphill battle when it comes to pursuing higher education. We must break the cycle and provide the resources and support necessary to put young people on a path to success,” said Langevin, who co-chairs the Congressional Career and Technical Education Caucus. “I commend CCRI on the progress of the Talent Search program thus far, and I congratulate them on winning this grant so that they can continue to identify, support, and empower promising students who will become Rhode Island’s educators, innovators, and entrepreneurs of tomorrow.”

“Too often, promising low-income middle and high school students fall behind and ultimately miss the opportunity to go to college,” said Cicilline. “CCRI’s Rhode Island Education Talent Search prevents these students from falling through the cracks by identifying them at an early age and providing them the resources they need to make a successful jump to higher education.

Johnston Sunrise: New program trains Rhode Islanders for EB jobs

Johnston Sunrise: New program trains Rhode Islanders for EB jobs

By Kelcy Dolan

It was after a year and a half of college that 19-year-old Hannah Cook-Dumas realized education was not for her. She decided to pursue an “old dream” of welding.

A graduate of Tiverton High School, Cook-Dumas began welding at the age of 14 in the family garage. Taught by her father, she enjoyed taking on small projects to fix and build things.

Growing up, she had always heard about the need to go to college, but was unsure of how to move forward to progress in the trade. She finally landed an apprenticeship with a retired employee from Electric Boat who encouraged her to apply to the company herself. Lo and behold she got the job, training with New England Institute of Technology (NEIT) and continuing her education with various certifications.

“I am happy to go into work every day. I didn’t think that was a real thing until now,” Cook-Dumas said. “Now I hope to have a long and successful future with Electric Boat, and I hope more people get the same chance I did to move forward with this company.”

General Dynamic Electric Boat hopes to hire thousands of employees just like Cook-Dumas as they expand to fulfill contracts with the U.S. Navy. Currently, Electric Boat employs 3,500 at Quonset Point and is expected to grow to 5,500 by the end of the 2020s. On July 19 Governor Gina Raimondo, the Department of Labor and Training and Electric Boat unveiled a long-term workforce development plan to ensure Rhode Islanders are the ones employed to those new positions at the Quonset Point facility.

“This is an all-hands-on-deck approach,” Raimondo said. “We have our work cut out for us, but we are up to the challenge.”

Earlier this year Raimondo announced that the state and Electric Boat would be partnering with six career and technical schools throughout the state, including the Warwick Area Career and Technical Center, to begin and improve existing programs in welding, ship-fitting, machining and manufacturing pathways. Over the next two years the program is expected to see nearly 200 students enrolled with the capacity to graduate 350 students annually as the program grows.

Electric Boat will provide support career and technical schools instruction as well as provide paid student internships on site.

Similarly, Real Jobs RI, awarded a $369,500 to the “Pipelines to Manufacturing Careers in Shipbuilding,” a “sector partnership” led by Electric Boat.

The strategic plan previewed Tuesday builds off the previous programs by increasing post employment training for maritime trades at New England Tech as well as the Community College of Rhode Island’s new Westerly Higher Education and Job Skills Center in January 2017. NEIT will also be expanding their Ship Building and Advance Manufacturing Institute (SAMI) from Post Road to the Access Road Campus. CCRI’s Westerly Satellite along with the new skills center will offer maritime sheet metal pipefitting and electrical programs. A post-employment training model will allow new employees to be on the Electric Boat payroll before receiving their training from wither NEIT or CCRI.

“Rhode Island and Electric Boat are on one and the same page,” Scott Jensen, director for the Department of Labor and training said. “This plan exemplifies what can happen when committed partners set their minds to solving big workforce challenges to help people. Completing this task is obviously critical for Rhode Island and our partner and client, EB, but it’s also critical for our client’s client, the United States Navy.”

Both presidents of CCRI and NEIT, Meghan Hughes and Richard Gouse, respectively, expressed their willingness to partner with the state and Electric Boat and their commitment to being a part of Rhode Island’s “economic growth.”

“A year ago I promised our congressional delegation that my administration would move decisively to fulfill Electric Boat’s hiring needs,” Raimondo said. “To compete in the 21st century economy, we need to invest in the skills that businesses need. This plan provides a reliable pipeline of talent to help EB meet its commitments to the U.S. Navy, and it puts thousands of Rhode Islanders to work in well-paying jobs.”

Maura Dunn, Vice President of Human Resources and Administration fro Electric Boat, commended the governor on her “foresight” in bringing together partnerships that will provide citizens with the opportunities to “develop valuable job skills in the advanced manufacturing sector.”

The Congressional Delegation praised Raimondo similarly.

Congressman David Cicilline said that in Washington the delegation fights to bring resources back to the state and it is beneficial to know that in Rhode Island, Raimondo is ensuring an “ecosystem” to translate those resources into jobs. He said that the “innovative” plan would strengthen the state’s relationship with Electric Boat while dually resulting in “well-paying jobs for Rhode Islanders in a growing industry.”

“It’s a win for our workforce, for our overall economy, for Quonset Point and for national security,” said Congressman James Langevin. Senator Jack Reed, said, “This work is vitally important to meeting our national security needs and to strengthening our economy. This workforce development model will also serve as a blueprint for how a more demand-driven workforce development system can achieve results for employers and employees.”

Newport Buzz: Governor Raimondo and Electric Boat unveil strategic plan for workforce pipeline at Quonset Point

Newport Buzz: Governor Raimondo and Electric Boat unveil strategic plan for workforce pipeline at Quonset Point

By Christian Winthrop

Governor Gina M. Raimondo and Electric Boat (EB) today unveiled a strategic workforce plan aimed at addressing long-term hiring opportunities at Quonset Point. EB’s Rhode Island facility currently employs 3,500 workers, and the company expects to employ more than 5,500 workers by the end of the 2020s.

“A year ago, I promised our Congressional Delegation that my administration would move decisively to fulfill Electric Boat’s hiring needs,” Raimondo said. “To compete in the 21st century economy, we need to invest in the skills that businesses need. This plan provides a reliable pipeline of talent to help EB meet its commitments to the U.S. Navy, and it puts thousands of Rhode Islanders to work in well-paying jobs. We’re grateful for EB’s partnership over the past months in arriving at this moment, and we look forward to delivering for EB in the months and years ahead.”

In May, Raimondo and state education leaders announced a pre-employment partnership through which EB is opening welding, ship-fitting, machining, and manufacturing programs at six sites this fall for a total enrollment over the next two years of about 200 students. Additionally, Raimondo’s central job-training program, Real Jobs RI, awarded a grant of $369,500 to the Pipelines to Manufacturing Careers in Shipbuilding, a sector partnership led by EB.

The workforce plan unveiled today builds on the Real Jobs RI partnership and RIDE’s work developing career and technical training by:

• Adding post-employment training for submarine maritime trades at “finishing schools” such as New England Tech and, starting in January 2017, the new Westerly Higher Education and Job Skills Center

• Increasing capacity at New England Tech by expanding the Ship Building and Advance Manufacturing Institute (SAMI) from its current Post Road location to its Access Road Campus also in Warwick

• Establishing a partnership between CCRI’s Westerly Satellite Campus and the new skills center to offer training in maritime sheet metal, pipefitting, and electrical programs

Additionally, through a pilot post-employment training model that began in May, candidates who qualify can be placed on EB’s payroll before receiving technical training at New England Tech or CCRI.

“This work is vitally important to meeting our national security needs and to strengthening our economy. This workforce development model will also serve as a blueprint for how a more demand-driven workforce development system can achieve results for employers and employees. This is truly a collaborative effort, and I will continue doing my part to make strategic investments to ensure Rhode Island is a high-tech hub of undersea technologies now and in the foreseeable future,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed, the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who helped include $5 billion for the Virginia-class submarine program and $1.5 billion for the Ohio-class submarine replacement program in the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

“Thanks to great work led by Senator Reed and Congressman Langevin, Electric Boat’s Quonset workforce is growing, and we want Rhode Islanders to be hired,” said U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. “This workforce development program will give Rhode Islanders the training to be competitive for those good-paying jobs. I commend Governor Raimondo for bringing together the private and public sectors to come up with this smart, demand-driven solution.” “More good-paying jobs are on the horizon at Electric Boat, and we must ensure that we have the appropriate training in place so that Rhode Islanders can seize these competitive opportunities,” said Congressman Jim Langevin. “I co-chair the Career and Technical Education Caucus and serve as a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, so I am excited to see this nexus of workforce development programming and our state’s strong defense industry. It’s a win for our workforce, for our overall economy, for Quonset Point and for national security.”

“Electric Boat is already one of the largest employers in Rhode Island, with 3,500 employees,” said Congressman David Cicilline. “It’s critical that we work together at all levels of government to ensure that job-training and skill development programs are preparing Rhode Islanders for available, good-paying jobs. Governor Raimondo’s plan to ensure 2,000 students graduate with the skills necessary to meet the present and future hiring at Electric Boat will help put Rhode Islanders back to work. This innovative plan strengthens the relationship between Rhode Island and Electric Boat and will result in well-paying jobs for thousands more Rhode Islanders in a growing industry.”

“We applaud the governor and her administration for their foresight in establishing partnerships with businesses like Electric Boat, which will provide Rhode Islanders with the opportunity to develop valuable job skills in the advanced manufacturing sector,” said Maura Dunn, General Dynamics Electric Boat Vice President of Human Resources and Administration.

ABC6: Interfaith gathering at Muslim center draws more than a hundred

ABC6: Interfaith gathering at Muslim center draws more than a hundred

By Bianca Buono


Less than 48 hours after a Muslim community center in Kingston was vandalized, the South County community came together in a show of solidarity against violence of all kinds.

Late Thursday, the center’s windows were shattered and the words “Muhammad Prophet of Butchers” were painted in red on the front of the building. It happened just moments after the terror attack in Nice.

“We time and time again are victimized as a result of other people’s actions who are acting in the name of Islam but not doing anything that stands for the religion of Islam,” said Wendy Manchester Ibrahim of the Rhode Island Council for Muslim Advancement.

Now, the graffiti is gone and the windows are covered. People of all faiths and backgrounds sat together Saturday afternoon to show support with the Muslim community.

“Your presence here tells me I should not be afraid,” said Nasser Zawia of the center.

At the interfaith gathering, there was a diverse group of speakers.

“When this happens to any one of our houses of worship, it happens to all of us,” said Reverend Don Anderson of the Rhode Island State Council of Churches.

“In our community we have felt the slings and arrows of hatred,” said Rabbi Howard Voss-Altman of Temple Beth El.

“We know who will ultimately prevail and it is not hatred and it is not evil. It is people like us coming together,” said URI President David Dooley.

The message at the gathering was one of positivity.

“Something beautiful has come out of something ugly. And people have come together. That room was full with people of different cultures, faiths, backgrounds, orientations,” said Congressman Jim Langevin.

South Kingstown police are still investigating the incident. So far no arrests have been made.

FedScoop: House bills seek to strengthen US-Israel cybersecurity partnership

FedScoop: House bills seek to strengthen US-Israel cybersecurity partnership

By Chris Bing

Reps. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., and John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, introduced two bills Thursday to strengthen joint cybersecurity research and development efforts between the U.S. and Israel.

“The United States and Israel are the two top exporters of cybersecurity technologies,” said Langevin in a statement. “Our bills will leverage the reservoirs of expertise in both nations to advance the frontiers of cyber science.”

The bills seek to formalize a grant-funding program for early-stage cyber innovation and to expand an ongoing R&D program jointly conducted by the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency and Israeli Ministry of Public Security.

“Our recent discussions with Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu confirmed just how important it is that we unite forces to formulate ongoing, effective strategies to best address the rapidly evolving cyber threats faced by both of our nations. After all, cybersecurity is national security,” Ratcliffe said in a statement.

Introduction of the bills comes two months after a Congressional delegation traveled to Israel to meet with government officials regarding joint cybersecurity operations.

Langevin’s proposed R&D grant program — under the bill titled the United States-Israel Cybersecurity Cooperation Enhancement Act of 2016 — would rely on a peer-reviewed application process “tailored to [the] research requirements” of the Secretary of Homeland Security and reviewed by two U.S.-Israeli scientific organizations: the U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation, or BSF, and Binational Industrial Research and Development foundation, or BIRD.

The BSF describes its mission as “supporting collaborative research projects in a wide area of basic and applied scientific fields, for peaceful and non-profit purposes” while BIRD is more of a “matchmaking service” between Israeli and American companies that are conducting research and developing technology products.

A spokesperson for Langevin told FedScoop the funding provided by the United States-Israel Cybersecurity Cooperation Enhancement Act would only “be available for projects that are joint with an Israeli and an American partner.” Decisions on what constitutes such a partnership will be made by the Secretary of Homeland Security.

“Grants will be available [to applicants] across the spectrum, from academics conducting basic research in collaboration, to mature companies bringing homeland security relevant products to market. This could certainly include startups,” the spokesperson said.

The Advanced Research Partnership Act of 2016, for which Ratcliffe is sponsor, aims to add money to a standing research program between DHS and the Israeli Ministry of Public Security. Notably, the program’s expansion will now enable it to tackle cybersecurity.

In January, Israeli government officials announced the country controlled roughly 20 percent of international market share in cybersecurity products, second only to the United States.

Providence Journal: Dream shattered, he persevered, found another

By Mark Patinkin
Journal Columnist
Jim was one of those kids who always knew what he wanted to be — first a policeman and eventually an FBI agent.

He grew up middle class in Warwick with a dad who ran a hardware store and a mom who was a career counselor.

Jim was so sure he wanted to be a cop he began interning for the Warwick police at age 12. He was still doing it four years later the summer of his 16th year, clerking, answering phones and running errands. He was the kind of earnest cadet who ironed his uniform himself before each shift.

On this particular Friday, he did the same, heading to the station locker room and suiting up.

Two officers were nearby looking at a new .45-caliber semiautomatic. One officer ejected the clip and handed the gun to the other, who didn’t realize a bullet was still in the chamber. He aimed what he thought was an empty gun at a locker and pulled the trigger.

The bullet ricocheted, piercing Jim’s neck and severing his spinal cord.

The officers kept Jim breathing until a rescue arrived a minute later from the fire station across the street. By then, Jim was unconscious and his blue cadet uniform stained red as he lay on the white tile floor.

They took Jim to the Kent Country Hospital ER. Days later, by the time they eased the sedation, he was in the spinal cord unit of the University Hospital in Boston, his head pulled taut by weights drilled into his skull beneath his blond hair.

The doctors chose not to tell Jim of the severity of his injury at first. But after two weeks, Jim was able to speak, and began to ask, so they were honest. Not long after, his mother June came into his room.

“Ma,” said Jim, “they’re telling me I won’t have use of my hands or legs.”

All she could say was, “I know, Jim.” She gave his hand a squeeze and realized he was unable to squeeze back.

Jim was a sophomore at Bishop Hendricken when the accident happened. The administrators told his parents he could — and should — repeat the grade next year. But Jim’s mom and dad worried that falling behind would be one more loss for him, so they said they’d get tutors.

The administrators said it wasn’t a good idea. But the parents wouldn’t yield — Jim would finish his sophomore year. It was their way of teaching their son his paralysis did not have to limit him.

Back home, in his motorized wheelchair, Jim learned to type by wedging a pencil between his fingers and hitting the keys that way. But it was arduous so he would sometimes ask his mother to type his school papers.

She would tell him she was sorry, but with three other kids, including a baby, and dinner to cook, she didn’t have time.

“Why won’t you help me, Mom?” he’d say.

“I’m sorry, Jim.”

Then she would go into a room where Jim couldn’t see her crying, her heart broken, but she knew it was the only way to teach him perseverance.

Jim had to let go of his dream of becoming a police officer but he resolved to find a way to be a public servant.

At age 24, he was elected to the Rhode Island House of Representatives. At age 30, he became Secretary of State.

And last week, 36 years after his accident, at age 52, with eight terms as the only quadriplegic U.S. congressman in history, Jim Langevin announced he would run again in hopes of continuing his journey of perseverance.

Providence Journal: Rep. Langevin announces reelection bid

By Paul Edward Parker
Journal Staff Writer


U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin declared his candidacy for reelection to Congress Tuesday morning, handing in papers at the secretary of state’s elections office.

“I love Rhode Island, and I feel passionate about public service,” Langevin said while chatting with reporters as his paperwork was processed. “There’s a lot of frustrations that go along with the job, certainly in this environment where it’s been so partisan. But I’m proud of the bipartisan record I have demonstrated.”

Langevin said the issues he will campaign on are familiar to those who have followed his career: career and technical education, cybersecurity and national security, especially the construction of Virginia-class submarines, which are built in Quonset Point and in Groton, Connecticut, by General Dynamics Electric Boat. “These are the things that I continue to focus on,” he said, adding that he also hopes to gain ground on campaign-finance reform and gun safety.

Langevin said he anticipated debates as part of the race. “I always make a point to debate my opponents,” he said. “I’ve always made a practice of making myself accessible to discuss the issues.”

The secretary of state’s office said that at least two opponents have begun the process of getting on the ballot: Democrat Steven Archer and independent Salvatore G. Caiozzo. Also, Republican Rhue Reis said on June 9 that he would challenge Langevin.

Langevin was elected to Congress in 2000, when Rep. Robert Weygand ran for the U.S. Senate. Langevin previously was a state representative and secretary of state. He represents Rhode Island’s Second Congressional District, which generally covers the state west of Narragansett Bay, except for parts of Providence and several communities in or near the Blackstone Valley.

Not long after Langevin declared his candidacy Tuesday morning, the Coventry Democratic Town Committee announced that it had endorsed Langevin at its meeting Monday night.

Several weeks ago, the state Democratic Party endorsed Langevin at its state convention.

“I haven’t lost my passion for public service,” Langevin told reporters Tuesday. “I got into this years ago … to give back and show my appreciation for the people of Rhode Island.”