Giannini: What’s in? What’s out this week?


Over 2,000 people showed up at the Rhode Island State House to testify on gun bills this week. Capitol police said over 2,000 people showed up at the State House to testify on gun bills in the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Lines were out the door as people lined up to give their input on the gun bills. Both proponents and opponents were there to have their say. The turnout was record breaking. The media reported that many were there to protect their second amendment rights. The times are changing. We have a motivated America today who is mad and will not be quiet anymore. No matter what side you are on of the gun debate, you have to agree that the people are silent no more.

The Governor’s race….This year’s race for Governor is starting to sizzle!

A poll taken by Roger Williams University during February was released by WPRI channel 12 this week and it clearly shows that the race will be a hot one. Governor Gina Raimondo and Alan Fung are within a 3 point spread if Alan Fung were to win the primary. Patricia Morgan was registering substantially at a lower percentage if she won the Republican primary. This poll was encouraging for Fung. 

But this poll did not include all the candidates.

Giovanni Feroce was not included because he had not filed papers yet. But he is planning to run also in the Republican primary. How would he fare?

Also, in a surprise announcement, former Secretary of State Matthew Brown has announced his possible run as an independent for Governor.

This definitely is not welcoming news to the Governor because Matt Brown, a fellow east sider, is a strong progressive with grass roots who can take votes away from Raimondo.

Polls are just a small snapshot of the electoral voter opinion. With only 413 people being polled in the Roger Williams University poll, it is hardly a good indicator of what will happen, especially without all the candidates included. It’s still early yet, but one factor that cannot be discounted is the disapproval ratings for both Governor Raimondo and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse which were higher than usual. This shows clear discontent with business as usual and a possible shakeup in this year’s elections.

Finally, I remember a popular politician telling me the following: “ The only poll that counts is the one taken on Election Day.” Let’s make our vote count.

Another nor’easter

Wednesday’s nor’easter was a slow starter but nevertheless still a hindrance to all. Slippery roads, cold temperatures and windy conditions make it a real inconvenience to all residents. Some residents haven’t recovered from the loss of power for days and had to endure yet another storm that seems to be lingering around for a couple of days. School closings, delays and cancellations are many because of the heavy snow. Downed trees and power lines pose a real hazard to our community. That’s why it is so important for cities and towns to maintain the trees in our communities. Trees need to be cut, trimmed and removed is they are diseased. It’s a matter of public safety and needs to be addressed. National Grid response has been slow but steady. But can’t we do better? This is really getting to be a public safety hazard.

What’s out…

Traffic Cameras in Providence…Providence’s new school speed program has issued 17,116  ($95.00 ) tickets within one month. Most of the tickets were issued from the camera on Mt. Pleasant avenue which issued over 8,000 tickets. The cameras have raised a whopping $607,600 in revenue within a six week period. Six more cameras are being added to various school zones in Providence. How did this happen? It was voted and approved by the Providence city council and by the State legislators. Some call it an ambush. Some call it a public safety measure. Either way the public is upset and now State lawmakers are looking to change the traffic camera law that passed in 2016.

See everyone , there is strength in numbers!


Joanne Giannini
Joanne Giannini is a former State Representative from Providence. A freelance journalist, consultant and writer, she has previously written commentary for The Providence journal, GolocalProv and WPRO radio. Contact her at