Senator Reed joined labor and environmental leaders on a tour of Deepwater Wind’s new 30-megawatt, 5-turbine Block Island Wind Farm, which will be operational by the end of 2016 and will be the first offshore wind farm to be constructed in the United States. The tour was co-hosted by the Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council, the National Wildlife Federation, and the BlueGreen Alliance. The tour set off from Quonset and featured a speaking program on the way to the island, where officials from Deepwater Wind and Local 37 Ironworkers provided details on the project and highlighted recent advancements in construction, which began early in 2015. Once in operation, the wind farm will generate enough electricity to power 17,000 homes and will provide most of Block Island’s needed power, create local jobs, and reduce air pollution across southern New England. Senator Reed serves as the co-Chair of the Senate Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus and has worked for years in support of the offshore wind project.
Senator Reed helped celebrate the grand opening of a new location for Lucy’s Hearth, a homeless shelter serving women and children. The new, 9,300-square-foot location on Valley Road in Middletown will house 16 families in need as they transition to permanent homes. As the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (THUD), Senator Reed helped provide $2.3 billion for homeless assistance grants in the fiscal year 2017 Appropriations Bill. In April of this year, he helped deliver nearly $6 million in U.S. Department of Housing and Human Development (HUD) Continuum of Care (CoC) grants for homeless assistance programs, including over $40,000 for Lucy’s Hearth.
Senator Reed joined Marta Martinez, Executive Director of Rhode Island Latino Arts, on a walking tour of significant areas of hispanic history in Providence as part of Hispanic Heritage Month. Stops included many important areas for Rhode Island's Hispanic community, including the original site of Fefa's Market (the first bodega in Rhode Island), and the Iglesia Hispana "El Calvario" Church on Broad Street.
Senator Reed helped cut the ribbon on 53 newly-renovated, affordable rental homes for individuals and families at Ashton Village in Cumberland’s Ashton Historic District. The homes are located alongside the Blackstone River adjacent to the Blackstone River Bikeway and the Blackstone River State Park. The Ashton Historic District is included on the National Register of Historic Places and has been described as one of the most intact and exemplary remaining 19th century mill villages in the nation. It is part of the Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park, which continues to take shape as the National Park Service (NPS) and multiple stakeholders remain engaged in the process. Senator Reed introduced legislation to create the park in an effort to preserve the industrial heritage of the Blackstone Valley, protect environmental resources, and provide opportunities for tourism, education, and recreation.
Senator Reed joined Governor Gina Raimondo, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, and U.S. Representative Jim Langevin in honoring the late Melvoid Benson at a ceremony renaming the U.S. Post Office at 7715 Post Road in North Kingstown in her honor. A teacher, community leader, and former State Representative, the Honorable Melvoid J. Benson (Estes) was the first black woman to be elected to the Rhode Island legislature from the Second Congressional District. She served seven terms as a State Representative from 1990 to 2004. The Melvoid J. Benson Post Office Building will be the first post office in Rhode Island history to be named in honor of an African-American.
Senator Reed celebrated the first-year success of the National Math & Science Initiative (NMSI) College Readiness Program at Middletown High School. Funding for the program was provided to the school through the Department of Defense’s (DoD) “Military Child Pilot Program,” which requires the DoD to establish a set of activities to improve the quality of science, technology, and engineering and mathematics (STEM) for students and teachers at schools with high numbers of military dependent children. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Reed helped to authorize the Military Child Pilot Program in the fiscal year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
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