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Nov 1, 2013
           Congressman Langevin at Fielding Manufacturing in Cranston

Dear Friends,

When I last reached out to you, exactly one month ago, it was the first day of a government shutdown. The shutdown would end up lasting 16 days and cost our economy an estimated $24 billion. Our country simultaneously came dangerously close to defaulting on our debt, a financial disaster that would have been unprecedented in our nation’s history. Needless to say, it has been a challenging time in Washington.

But just one week after these manufactured crises were avoided and a budget conference convened, I got to experience firsthand some of the good news that is too often overlooked in Rhode Island.

The Rhode Island Foundation launched the “It’s All In Our Backyard” campaign to address what CEO Neil Steinberg calls a serious “self-esteem problem” in our state. Our economy is certainly facing challenges, but there are also bright spots to celebrate. If we want to bring in new business, and encourage existing business to set roots and expand here, we need to play to our strengths. The Foundation has done just that, and they graciously led me on a tour to see some success stories in action.

From Armando & Sons Meat Market in Providence to Fielding Manufacturing in Cranston and FarSounder in Warwick, I was so impressed by Rhode Island’s resourceful and forward-thinking business owners. We need to empower those thriving businesses and gain best practices from them that will help small and growing enterprises to follow suit. Did you know that between 2000 and 2010, the health care industry added more than 10,600 jobs in Rhode Island? The Ocean State is also a top 10 state leading energy efficiency innovation and programs. And that’s just the beginning. There is a lot of work to be done to improve Rhode Island’s business climate, but it can be done with the right attitude and proper resources.

We need to do better, and we need your help to do that. Share your thoughts via email, Facebook and Twitter, and check out my YouTube and Flickr pages.

            Sincerely,

           Rep. Langevin's Signature

Congressman Langevin at an EPA grant event
Keeping Flood Rates at Bay
Rhode Island’s coastline is one of its greatest assets. Because of our unique geography, however, many homeowners have dealt with flooding and substantial flood insurance rates. I understand the need for reforms in the federal flood insurance program, but those changes should not come at the cost of someone losing their home. I’m proud to be an original cosponsor of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act to delay increases in insurance rates for four years while an affordability study is conducted.
 
Congressman Langevin with a young lady at the Narragansett Summer Youth Track Meet
Protecting Our Children
A recent investigative series from Reuters, “The Child Exchange,” brought to light an alarming trend of adopted children being “re-homed” into the custody of strangers without oversight. I introduced the Protecting Adopted Children Act to help provide a more stable home environment for these children. When a family is ill-equipped to care for a child, for whatever reason, there must be safe mechanisms in place through which that child can be transitioned into a more stable environment.
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