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.
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. We must address the regulatory impediments to home construction and be creative in our approach to development.
PROTECT OUR ENVIRONMENT
The East Bay is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. We must take action now to protect our natural resources, plan for recovery and boost our communities’ resiliency. 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. I will continue working to ensure that toxic chemicals, like PFAS, are identified, acknowledged and removed from our land, our air and our food.
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, with increased emphasis on mental health support to help kids thrive and learn; and with resources for our teachers to focus on what they do best.
PROMOTE WOMEN'S ISSUES
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. It is time to ensure that all women, regardless of who provides their health insurance-have coverage for all aspects of their reproductive health care.
PROTECT LGBTQ RIGHTS
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
Aside from the pandemic, the substance use crisis continues to be the greatest public health issue facing our communities today. It is a treatable medical condition, and evidence-based treatments exist and succeed. We must direct more 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. We must continue to address the problem of gun violence head on. 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 military-grade weapons out of the hands of civilians, and we must do this in a way that respects Rhode Islanders’ 2nd Amendment rights.
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. Housing policy should allow for the creation of housing units consistent with the needs of seniors. We must enact policies in support of in-home care, including pay increases for home health aides, and ensure that nursing homes have appropriate staffing levels, well-paid staff, and safe, accessible facilities.
In 2019, June was elected to the Rhode Island House of Representatives in a special election and re-elected in 2020. She serves as 2nd Vice Chair of the committee for Municipal Government and Housing, and as a member of Health and Human Services, Environment and Natural Resources, and Oversight.
After her re-election to the House in 2020, June was appointed by Speaker Joe Shekarchi to serve as Chair of the Special House Committee to Study Rhode Island’s Low and Moderate Income Housing Act which is working to improve the supply and affordability of housing for Rhode Islanders.
June has had a long-standing interest in housing policy, serving on the Board of Housing WorksRI, and on the State Housing Appeals Board from 2010 to 2016.
June and her family moved to Barrington in 1995 where she served for many years of service on various PTOs in Barrington. That work led to her election (four times) to a seat on the Barrington Town Council where she served for fourteen years, eight of them as Council President.
In 2016, June moved to Warren where she served for two years on the Warren Planning Board before being elected to the General Assembly. June is currently on the Executive Committee of the Warren Democratic Town Committee and was elected as an Obama delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. She served on the RI Democratic Party Platform Committee in 2016.
June Speakman was born and raised in the West Roxbury neighborhood of Boston. She attended Cape Cod Community College and UMass/Amherst before moving to New York City to pursue graduate study. 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 served on the faculty member of Rutgers University in New Jersey, the Claremont Colleges in Claremont, CA, and, for the last 28 years at Roger Williams University in Bristol.
June lives in Warren with her son Adam, and their dog, Lady. Her other son, Jason, lives and works in New York City.
Appointed to represent, along with five other members of the General Assembly, Rhode Island on the New England Board of Higher Education
Appointed in 2021 as Chair of the Special House Commission on Low and Moderate Income Housing that
Explores obstacles to the construction of more, and more affordable housing
Examines the structure of housing programs in RI
Monitors the expenditures of public money for housing
Meets with experts in the field to develop mechanisms and programs for increasing housing stock
Serves as Second Vice-chair of the Committee on Municipal Government and Housing
Shepherded several pieces of housing legislation through committee and to the floor
Member of the Health and Human Services, Environment and Natural Resources, and Oversight Committees
Recipient of the 2022 Smart Growth Award from GrowSmartRI
Championed an amendment to the state budget to establish Rhode Island’s first permanent funding stream for affordable housing, which will make an estimated $4 million available annually to help address the state’s critical shortage of affordable housing.
Sponsored a new law ensuring that nursing home residents can be visited by certain family members or caregivers during a state of emergency
Sponsored a law creating a forest conservation commission to seek new funding and identify incentives for landowners to maintain their land as forest
Sponsored a new law that sets up measurement standards and mitigation protocols for PFAS in drinking water
Championed, with Rep. Terri Cortvriend, a provision in the budget that provided funds to replace firefighting foam that contains PFAS. That replacement was accomplished throughout Rhode Island in the fall of 2022
Sponsored a new law that requires nursing home owners to reveal information about ownership of land, real estate, and facilities
Sponsored two new laws that streamline and make more transparent the operation of the State Housing Appeals Board