Letter to my Neighbors

Dear Neighbor,

My name is Terri Cortvriend, your State Representative, District 72 serving Middletown and Portsmouth. When people ask, “How do you pronounce your last name?” I tell them it rhymes with “short friend”.  When I wrote to you in 2018, I told you my personal story and why I was running for office. In this letter, I want to share with you the work that I have been doing, and why I want to go back to continue it.

I am a mother, a small business owner, a local public servant for the past twelve years, who served ten years as a member of the Portsmouth School Committee (with the last four years as the Chair). For the last two years, I’ve had the honor of serving as your State Representative, and a member of the House Small Business Committee. I care deeply about our community, local small businesses, protecting our open space, shoreline access and our watershed, supporting our seniors aging in place, advocating for vulnerable populations, and securing future investments in education for our children. I am asking for your support and vote in re-electing me as your State Representative serving Middletown and Portsmouth in the upcoming September primary and in the November general election.

As your Representative, I made a point of attending the Senate Funding Formula Task Force meetings so when the time comes to make changes to our education funding formula, I will be knowledgeable and better able to advocate for the district.

I have built a strong foundation for our district and Aquidneck Island, developing relationships with Federal, State and Local leaders, as well as the many local organizations that serve our community. I am honored to have been recognized in 2020 as the #1 Legislator for Constituent Outreach and the #1 Representative Overall by RI Ranks. I have met both privately with hundreds of individuals and held more than 31 monthly “Talks with Terri” public constituent meetings. 

COVID-19 has put unprecedented stress on our healthcare system, our economy, and our day to day lives as well as putting the brakes on the typical legislative session. I used this time to serve constituents on a one-to-one basis,  helping with unemployment issues, delayed services with state agencies, and assisting local small businesses navigate Federal and State COVID grant and loan programs. It has been very gratifying to address and resolve the issues brought to my attention. During this time, I have also delivered over 150 donated meals to the people of the Anthony House, clients of Newport Mental Health and to the homeless shelters on Aquidneck Island.  

As a freshman Representative, I was honored to work with RI State Treasurer Seth Magaziner, RI Attorney General Peter Neronha and Lead Senate sponsor Senator Dawn Euer as a Co-Sponsored Student Loan Bill of Rights, signed into law by the Governor.  

In addition to my legislative duties, I have also worked on the following initiatives:

Good Governance

  • I stood with the Reform Caucus fighting for changes to the House Rules to make the Chamber more democratic, transparent and responsive to constituents. We were successful in requiring that every bill be posted 24 hours in advance of voting, giving both Reps and the public a chance to review the language providing that the House Rules are not suspended.   


Environment/Climate Change/Resiliency

  • When no environmental bills were passed in the 2019 session, I co-founded the Aquidneck Island Climate Caucus as a way of communicating with constituents on what was happening at the State House on this important topic. 

  • I participated in a workshop hosted by the Southeast New England coastal Watershed Restoration Program focused on matching stormwater projects with federal dollars. 

  • I participated in Portsmouth’s Resiliency Workshop as part of the RI Infrastructure Bank’s Resilient Rhody Grant Program.

  • I remain committed to working with the Aquidneck Land Trust, Save the Bay, Clean Water Action and other organizations in their efforts to preserve open space and protect our environment.  


Small Business/Economic Development

  • I continue to work directly with local businesses and nonprofits connecting them to resources and acting as a liaison with state agencies throughout our reopening.  

  • I have hosted meetings with the Aquidneck Island Small Business Community, the Non-Profit Community, and Retailers to hear their concerns.

  • I continue to use my 30 years of small business experience balancing budgets, making payroll, and navigating the ever changing complexities of providing healthcare insurance to my employees to better advocate for you at the State on these issues.

  • I stay engaged with state offices including Secretary Gorbea, Treasurer Magaziner, Steven Kavanaugh Legislative Director for the Governor, Brian Daniels of the League of Cities and Towns, Leader Shekarchi, Chairman Abney regarding the budget, Office of Healthy Aging, and with RI economists to understand how the state could potentially invest during this challenging time.  



  • I worked with stakeholders on the West Side to obtain funding for an engineering study of the infrastructure including Burma & Stringham Roads and associated utilities. Congressman Cicilline has been able to secure funding with the RI Infrastructure Bank providing the match for this study.

  • Within the first month of being sworn in, Aquidneck Island endured the gas crisis.  While most of District 72 was spared, I gained invaluable experience in how our state responded to this emergency.  I participated on daily calls with the Governor’s staff and stakeholders. I followed RIEMA’s response and attended their review.  This event led to the temporary LNG facility set up on Old Mill Lane in our District.  I attended the hearing of the Energy Siting Board and have stayed in touch with constituents communicating the concerns of the abutting neighborhood to the DPUC.  

  • Working with the Portsmouth Town Council, Senator Seveney and I requested a Safety Audit on East Main Road. We met with the team in Providence and spent the day in the field with the RIDOT engineering team performing the audit.  We have had a follow up meeting with the Team to review the report which is being prepared for the Town Council.    

  • I met with the Middletown Senior Center and brought in a team from RIPTA in response to their concerns about lack of public transportation to their location. 


With your support and vote in the September primary and November general elections, I look forward to returning to the General Assembly to continue moving these bills, along with others, through the legislative process. 

  • Preservation of Families with Disabled Parent Act The legislation precludes a parent's disability from serving as the sole basis for the state to institute an investigation of the disabled parent's family.

  • Banning PFAS in Food Packaging Act Prohibits PFAS, a class of fluorinated organic chemicals, from being used in food packaging.

  • Co-sponsored: PFAS in Drinking Water, Groundwater and Surface Waters Act Department of Health to establish maximum standards for PFAS levels in water.

  • Resolution to bring Climate Literacy into K-12 Education Department of Education to develop a set of key environmental and climate principles and concepts to be infused in all subjects for K-12.  

  • Protecting the Constitutional Rights of Rhode Islanders to Shoreline Access Act  The legislation would prevent the criminal prosecution of anyone who attempts to exercise their constitutional shoreline rights on a sandy or rocky shore within 10 feet of the most recent high tide line. 

  • Seizure Safe Schools Act  Requires elementary/secondary schools to have at least 1 school employee trained to administer/assist with the self-administering of seizure rescue medication prescribed to treat seizure disorder systems and the use of prescribed electrical stimulation.

  • The Uniformed Controlled Substances Act Expands drug awareness programs to high schools, directs funding from certain civil fines and mandates establishment of criteria or funding. 

  • The Nathan Bruno/Jason Flatt Act  An Act relating to Education - Suicide Prevention, would require training of teachers and school personnel regarding suicide awareness and prevention and establishment of a conflict resolution process between teachers or school personnel and students.

  • Commission on Police Officer Standards and Training  Requires training/instructions for police officers/trainees to identify persons with cognitive/communication disabilities and to develop law enforcement responses and training for police investigating such complaints. 


The full list of legislation that I have sponsored is located on my website at terricortvriend.com/legislation. 

If you have a question or want to reach me, please email terricortvriend@gmail.com or call 401-472-4789. I invite you to follow me on Twitter at @TerriCortvriend, on Facebook  at @TerriCortvriendforStateRep, and on Instagram at @TerriCortvriend.  I also invite you to participate in events that I sponsor which I posted on my Facebook page and my website at terricortvriend.com/event

If you would like to sign up to receive my digital newsletters or read my “2018 Letter to my Neighbors” on why I initially decided to run to be your State Representative, both can be found on the homepage of my website at VoteTerri.com.

I ask for your vote in re-electing me as your State Representative of District 72 serving Middletown and Portsmouth in the upcoming September primary and in the November general election.




Terri Cortvriend


Friends of Terri Cortvriend
46 Mary Lane, Portsmouth, RI 02871



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