By Jonathan Bissonette
CENTRAL FALLS — District 16 State Sen. Elizabeth A. Crowley says that one of the reasons she supports Hillary Clinton as the next President of the United States is because Clinton “stands up for the little guy.” And there is no one littler than Central Falls, the smallest city in the smallest state.
A life-long Central Falls resident, Crowley says she has always been proud of her city. Despite its ups and downs in recent years, she said that the efforts of Mayor James Diossa and the Rhode Island General Assembly have the city on the right track.
Those are the kinds of things Clinton stands for, Crowley said, adding that while she was disappointed that Clinton lost out in the 2008 Democratic Presidential primary, she believes it emboldened Clinton, a person who she says has “a lot of compassion for the people of the United States.”
Crowley was one of many who on Wednesday night attended a rally at 555 Broad St., which will serve as one of two campaign headquarters in Rhode Island supporting the nomination of Clinton for President. The other headquarters, which opened last week, is on Reservoir Avenue in Providence.
Nick Black, state director of Hillary for Rhode Island, said that the headquarters on Broad Street is not only a great location because it is a visible space in a bustling, vibrant downtown area, but also because it is important for the campaign in that is central to a “very important constituency.”
The space on Broad Street will serve as the base of operations for direct contact, phone calls, and doorto-door campaigning, Black said. He additionally said it will be “a place where we can gather and talk about why we support Hillary Clinton.”
Black said he has been a longtime Clinton supporter, saying that she has the experience to be president at an important time in the nation’s history, adding that Clinton worked with children and families as First Lady and Senator and gained valuable experience during her work around the world as Secretary of State.
Mike Kelly, a Providence resident who attended Wednesday’s rally, said he has been a fan of the Clintons going back to the presidency of Bill Clinton – “probably the best there ever was,” Kelly said.
Kelly said that he believes Clinton has the experience and has been groomed to be president for the last 23 years, saying she is in “the perfect position to be the next President. Nobody comes near being more eligible to be President, no one on either side of the political spectrum.”
Jackie Parra, Central Falls’ Democratic City Committee chairwoman, said that it was an honor for the city to serve as a host to the Clinton campaign, saying it “means we’re really moving.”
“I believe people recognize Central Falls is changing in the right path, people get more and more involved every day,” Parra said.
As for why she supports Clinton, Parra said that she believed she is “the best candidate and best person to be President. It’s not easy but she has the experience, education, all the skills we need.”
Mayor James Diossa said he was excited that the Clinton campaign opened a headquarters in the squaremile city in the heart of the Blackstone Valley, adding that he was very proud to join and work to make sure that Clinton was the next President.
Central Falls had its “fair share of challenges,” Diossa said, but during the city’s “darkest hours” the residents came together to turn their home city around.
“We know what it’s like to fight for what we care about,” the mayor said, noting that Clinton in her life similarly has fought for what she cares for.
Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea said she stands with Clinton because “she is the most qualified candidate, bar none, in this election on both sides.”
Furthermore, Gorbea said Clinton is someone who cares and puts that care into action for working families. Gorbea additionally said that she has seen Clinton speak in front of small audiences and large crowds but the message remained the same – that she has the hope, vision, and experience to get results for working families nationwide.
While Bill Clinton today will be in the Ocean State to campaign for Hillary at the Community College of Rhode Island in Warwick, sources close to the campaign said it is not likely that the former President will stop in Central Falls.
Original story printed in the 4/14 edition of the Pawtucket Times.