Meet Karen Salvatore, Candidate for State Representative

Karen Salvatore is running for State Representative in Rhode Island’s 33rd district, which includes South Kingstown, Narragansett, and North Kingstown. This is Ms. Salvatore’s second try at the seat. Two years ago, she lost to 17-year incumbent Donald Lally by just 156 votes. Her run for office is the natural continuation of her efforts to bring good ideas and good people to state government…

Ms. Salvatore is the founder of Food And Truth, a non-profit organization dedicated to inform, educate, motivate and organize people around food ingredient issues. She was the Executive Director for the John Hazen White Sr. Red Alert program which encouraged citizen awareness of issues and involvement in government. In 1990, Ms Salvatore founded DOT Watch, a citizen advisory group on transportation issues.
Anchor Rising recently had the opportunity to interview Ms. Salvatore…
Anchor Rising: What’s motivating your run for office?
Karen Salvatore: What’s motivating me is good government. We need that. My opponent has been in the House of Representatives for seventeen years. I believe that our Founding Fathers created a system where we would leave the family farm or the family business for a few years, serve, and then go home. I think that’s the way it should be. I don’t think we should turn government into a career.
AR: Your opponent, Donald Lally, is the chair of the House Judiciary Committee and a vocal opponent of voter initiative. What are your thoughts on voter initiative?
KS: I am very much for voter initiative. I think people should have the right to put something on the ballot. 28 states have voter initiative. Our neighbors in Massachusetts have had it for many, many years, and they have lower taxes and better voter turnouts than we have. Many states that have voter initiative do have better voter turnout.
AR: I know you’ve run for office once before, but you’ve also been involved with government through DOT (Department of Transportation) Watch, correct?
KS: I founded DOT watch, a citizen advisory committee on transportation issues. We promoted mass-transit alternatives.
AR: Tell us about how DOT Watch was ahead of the curve on some of the state’s major transportation issues.
KS: Seventeen years ago, when we started DOT watch, people were saying “fuggedaboutit” to the things we were promoting. For example, there was skepticism about water transport. Now we have a high-speed ferry on the bay. We were promoting train stations in Warwick and Wickford. People asked us if we were crazy. They claimed we didn’t have the density for trains. Of course we have the density. Now, the Warwick and Wickford train stations will become a reality.
AR: What other issues are important to you?
KS: Our taxes our too high, we spend too much money. If you want to lower taxes, you have to stop spending. Our spending exceeds the cost-of-living increases. We have to stop that. I want to lower health and property insurance costs. I want to help increase the number and the quality of jobs in Rhode Island, by making the tax structure more attractive for families and business that want to come here. And, of course, education that is affordable and of good quality is a top concern of mine.

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17 years ago

I believe I know Karen from my high school days! As far back as I can recall, she has been an activist Republican. Bravo!

17 years ago

“If you want to lower taxes, you have to stop spending.”
Karen, Karen, Karen! How can you say that?? Think of all the unqualified political hacks that won’t have jobs when we control spending! I hope you don’t bring these excelle … er, unfortunate ideas to the General Assembly when you are elected.

17 years ago

I knew Karen when she ran DOTWatch, and she was unusually effective in advocating for local communities impacted by transportation policies and getting broader transportation issues to the attention of the political community. As a result, to this day, the RIDOT is way more sensitive to the views of local communities then they were before Karen came on the scene. She would be a really effective stand-out legislator!

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