I’m running for re-election to continue the fight for families who are struggling to get by. Especially in these times, we need a firm commitment of state resources for social services, health care, workforce development, and high-quality education, no matter where you live. I will continue to stand up for women’s reproductive rights and the rights of the LGBTQ community. I will continue to support a fair school funding formula and a robust school budget that relies less on local property taxes and more on state aid. I will work to ensure that Rhode Island’s nursing homes have the resources they need to support their residents and that the health professionals who work in those facilities are paid a fair wage. I will work with my colleagues to ensure that the state of Rhode Island is fully prepared in the event of another pandemic. And I will work to protect our sensitive environment and ensure the resilience of our coastal communities.
I am committed to working for racial and social justice by supporting legislation the ensures equity in contracting, judicial appointments, state employment, and encourages statewide reforms so that our officers can earn and maintain the trust of their communities and have the training they need to protect our communities without violence.
I vow to always be accessible, to always be here to listen, no matter what political affiliation you are. It is an honor to serve as your voice in the State House.
Recently released standardized test scores paint a disappointing picture for our schools. I know that teachers, students, and families are working hard to ensure that our children have the best education possible. The General Assembly must support their efforts with a school funding formula that does not leave anyone behind; increased emphasis on social workers and mental health support to help kids thrive and learn; and resources for our teachers to focus on what they do best. Access to a strong education lays the foundation for a wide range of employment opportunities that will help keep our communities growing and thriving.
PROTECT OUR ENVIRONMENT
The East Bay is at particular risk of being impacted by the effects of climate change. We must prevent serious damage by taking action now to protect our natural resources, plan for recovery and boost our communities’ resiliency as we adapt to these effects. I will work to preserve agricultural and open space and ensure that all Rhode Islanders have access to drinking water that is clean, reliable, and affordable.
PASS GOVERNMENT REFORM
Democracy can only function when our elected representatives can effectively and openly represent the interests of those they serve. Current rules allow for secretive, back-room negotiations where only a select group of voices are heard. We need reforms that will move us past the “know a guy” reputation we’ve earned, and make clear, open, democratic processes the new normal. I will support changes that ensure elected officials can serve their constituents with transparency and accountability. I support the legislative line-item veto and independent redistricting commission.
PROMOTE WOMEN'S ISSUES
It is time for the General Assembly to address the issues of sexual harassment, the codification of Roe vs. Wade, equal pay for equal work, and affordable childcare. Progress on these policies will improve the lives of women and families across the state. It is time for public and private employers to ensure that their workplaces are family-friendly so that women do not have to choose between making a professional contribution and caring for their children. When women are at the table -- whether it is the boardroom table, the General Assembly table, or the kitchen table -- their experiences and insights enhance the conversation, add important perspectives to the discussion and promote collaboration.
PROTECT LGBTQ RIGHTS
When I testified at hearings for marriage equality in Rhode Island, I was speaking out not only for the rights of same-sex couples to have access to the full emotional, social, and financial benefits of heterosexual partners, but to have these rights in every arena. We must take action to ensure that no one in our state experiences discrimination based on who they are or whom they love. I will continue to stand with our LGBTQ community as they fight back against increasing threats to their rights.
ADDRESS THE OPIOID CRISIS
The substance use crisis is the greatest public health issue facing our communities today. I know first-hand the impact it has on individuals and families. I also know that it is a treatable medical condition, and that evidence-based treatments exist. Narcan is available to anyone in Rhode Island without a prescription, and we need to expand education so that more community members and public spaces are equipped with this life-saving tool. We need to stop throwing money into failed criminal justice approaches, and start directing those funds towards expanded treatment options including medically assisted recovery, which are proven to save lives.
PASS COMMON SENSE GUN LAWS
We all agree that our children should be safe when they go to school, that we should be safe at the movie theater or concert hall, and that no one should lose a loved one to suicide. It’s past time for discussion; it’s time to take on the problem of gun violence head on. Turning our schools into prisons has not been the answer - we need to fund behavioral health services to support children who are at risk, including those on both sides of bullying behavior. We must keep guns out of the hands of children with strong safety standards, and we must keep military-grade weapons out of the hands of civilians, and we must do this in a way that respects Rhode Islanders’ 2nd Amendment rights.
ADDRESS AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Housing is a policy area that I’ve been involved with throughout my career in public service. It is the obligation of the national and state governments to ensure that all Americans have access to safe, clean, affordable housing. All Rhode Islanders deserve to live in quality homes in safe and thriving neighborhoods. The health and well-being of our children depend on it, as does the economic vibrancy of our state.
PROMOTE SMALL BUSINESSES
Small businesses are the backbone of the East Bay economy and the source of jobs for thousands of residents. I will work to ensure that regulatory and tax policy make sense for small business owners, and that RI economic development policies focus not only on the much-needed big construction projects, but also on Main Street rebirth and small business development.
ENHANCE SENIOR SERVICES
The State of Rhode Island must have policies in place to ensure that seniors can stay in the communities they love and that they have helped nurture and build. Seniors should be able to age in their homes safely, with supports that will help them continue to thrive and be active participants in our communities. This includes providing in-home and/or conveniently located services that are accessible to seniors of all ages, abilities, and income levels.
June Speakman was born and raised in the West Roxbury neighborhood of Boston. Her mom stayed home with the four children. Her dad worked for Motown Records by day and was a jazz drummer by night. June went to Girls’ Latin School in Dorchester. Her family moved to Cape Cod in the early 1970s, where June attended Cape Cod Community College and worked for several years as a server and bartender before returning to college at UMass-Amherst.
June has been immersed in academia ever since. She earned her MA in Economics from the New School for Social Research and her PhD in Political Science from City University of New York. June taught her first college class at Brooklyn College while still a grad student. She served as a full-time faculty member at Rutgers University in New Jersey, and then at the Claremont Colleges in Claremont, CA.
In 1995, the Speakman family went back to their roots in New England when June accepted a faculty position in the Political Science Department at Roger Williams University (RWU). She teaches American politics, state and local government and public policy. June has served in a number of leadership positions at RWU, including Department Chair, Faculty Senate President, and President of the RWU Faculty Association (NEARI).
After many years of service on various PTOs in Barrington, and one term on the Appropriations Committee, June was elected (four times) to a seat on the Barrington Town Council where she served for fourteen years, eight of them as Council President. She currently lives on Seymour Street in Warren with her best friend, Lady the dog, and her brother, Jim. Before being elected to the House of Representatives, she was a member of the Planning Board. June is an enthusiastic participant in Bristol and Warren’s great restaurant scene.
June is on the Executive Committee of the Warren Democratic Town Committee. She was elected as an Obama delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte and served on the RI Democratic Party Platform Committee in 2016.
June’s long-standing interest in housing policy led to her appointment on the Rhode Island Board of Housing Works, and to the State Housing Appeals board, where she served from 2010 to 2016. She also serves on the board of the Washington Internship Institute.
She has two sons, Jason and Adam, who attended Barrington public schools. They both live and work as creative professionals in New York City.
June is a lifelong member of Red Sox nation, has watched every episode of all seven seasons of The West Wing, loves a good crossword puzzle, and is happy feeding her friends at her old dining room table with its mismatched chairs.