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Dear Neighbors,

I’m writing to let you know that I am running for re-election and hope that I can count on your support. I find being a legislator challenging and rewarding, bringing me into conversations and understanding with people who have different concerns, expertise and goals.

This past session, I again sponsored legislation on privacy rights that requires law enforcement to get a warrant, absent emergency circumstances, in order to obtain an individual’s location information from cell phone providers. After several years of work the bill passed both chambers and was signed into law by Governor Raimondo this month.

A doctor/constituent complained to me about restrictive coven ants in contracts between doctors and health care providers such as Life Span and Care New England. As part of the employment contract doctors could not take patients with them when they left the organization, nor could they practice within 30 miles. Massachusetts law prohibits such contracts for doctors. Working with the RI Medical Society and Senator Gayle Goldin, we made the case that this practice may discourage doctors from coming to RI or force them out of state when they simply wish to leave a particular practice at the end of a contract. For patients, the covenants restricted their ability to see the doctor of their choice. This year the General Assembly passed and Governor Raimondo signed a new law prohibiting these restrictive covenants. I think this makes us more competitive with Massachusetts.

I will continue to support projects at URI, Brown and RISD that will raise skill levels, bring jobs to RI and keep graduates here. The nursing school under construction to work with the Brown Medical School in Providence and the new URI engineering building are two examples.

Gun control is extremely important and must be tackled by the General Assembly. I want to continue advocating for measures that will make us all safer. This includes sensible proposals such as: banning high capacity magazines, keeping domestic abusers from purchasing or possessing firearms and preventing individuals with concealed carry permits from taking guns on school grounds. The last is legislation I sponsored in 2015 and 2016.

Every year legislation is introduced that aims to take away reproductive rights. My support for reproductive freedom is unwavering; I will work to continue to ensure that reproductive freedom remains the law in Rhode Island.

I served in the position of Chair of the House Judiciary Committee from 2011 to 2014. The role demands exacting attention to the details of the legislation and an appreciation for the way words in a law determine its enforcement and impact. Serving as chair demands an even-handedness, putting aside one’s own values and agenda while directing public hearings and committee meetings. I am proud of the work I did as chair.

I am always eager to hear from you, your questions, concerns and ideas. Please do not hesitate to email me at edithajello@gmail.com or call me at home at 274-7078.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to work for all of us.