My name is Bill Deware, and I am running for state representative because I want someone to
fight for our community.
I remember growing up and watching my mother go to union meetings as her school’s delegate. That was one of the first times I learned what was possible if people dedicated themselves to a cause. I saw her spending countless nights at the school, meeting with people about ways to improve conditions for both teachers and students. Too often teachers are overworked and not given the resources to succeed. Too often kids are packed into classrooms too large for anyone to manage. Too often these problems are ignored. In those classrooms, I learned what a union was and what they meant to all of us. At its heart, it’s a group of people fighting to ensure we are all taken care of. I was always very proud of my mother for that. It was this spirit that motivated me into dedicating myself to a profession that helped others.
After graduating college at URI I set out to find that profession. I decided to become an X-Ray technologist because I wanted my job to be one where I could help others every day. At first it really was a dream. I worked every day alongside doctors and nurses helping to save lives. After a while, though, I started to see the same issues my mother faced as a teacher in my own workplace. Nurses were asked to work unsafe hours and techs were kept on call for entire days instead of shifts. The people who care for you at your most vulnerable shouldn’t be so tired they can barely think straight. I knew something had to be done, so I went to work organizing to make change with my union. It was hard, and it was long, but we proved we couldn’t be ignored, and things are better now at the hospital because of it.
When my daughter, Adrianna, was born, the doctors told my wife and me that she had down syndrome. Later we found out she also had autism. I love my daughter, and I wouldn’t trade her for anything in the world. However, I quickly realized that her life would be very different and that I would have to fight for her every step along the way. Like most parents in our situation we quickly became experts on the programs that were necessary for my daughter and became much more involved in the community. When I heard that cuts were coming down on those programs and on my daughter, I did what I had always been told to do, I called my rep looking for help. At first his state email didn’t work, then no one would pick up the phone. Next I did get a response but it was just a text giving me another email address to send my “complaint” to. I sent an email pleading for help. I reached out for an ally, someone to help protect my daughter, instead I found someone who couldn’t be bothered to return my phone calls.
This isn’t acceptable. This isn’t okay. It horrifies me that we apparently have money in the budget to give the rich another round of tax cuts but people like my daughter are “too expensive.” My mother’s pension is okay to take away but god forbid if we question a handout for a corporation. Our schools are crumbling, our taxes are going up, and our jobs are disappearing. We have to do something. We need to protect the weakest among us.
My representative seems to care more about those at the State House than those in our neighborhood. It shouldn’t be this hard to just get a response. I decided that it was time someone was willing to stand up for us. It was time someone ran to help the people of this neighborhood rather than himself. I promise I’ll be an independent voice that fights for what the community needs and not for those that have been running our state into the ground.