PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis is offering everyday Rhode Islanders a useful tool for connecting with local, state and federal officials. Released today, the 2013 edition of the "Rhode Island Government Owner's Manual" includes contact information for the state's Congressional delegation, municipal leaders and key officials in all three branches of state government.
"My priority is making government more open and accessible. Town halls and the State House belong to the public. Our guide acknowledges the important role that Rhode Islanders play and links them with the assistance that government offers," said Mollis.
The owner's manual is available free of charge at the Secretary of State's Public Information Center in Room 38 at the State House. A searchable, electronic version is also posted on the Secretary of State's website.
Mollis has 5,500 copies of the 300-page directory for distribution. Printed every two years to reflect the results of November elections, the book has historically been popular with the public.
The new owner's manual includes contact information for hundreds of officials including every member of the General Assembly as well as city and town councils and school committees. The directory even lists key staff for state agencies and municipal departments.
"We are making it easier for people to connect with officials, seek help and learn more about the way public policy is made," Mollis explained.
The guide also continues a practice Mollis introduced six years ago – publishing the name of every registered State House lobbyist as well as the clients they represent.
"Rhode Islanders deserve a comprehensive guide to the business of government. This is a useful tool for making their voices heard," Mollis explained.
The guide also promotes the 350th anniversary of Rhode Island's Royal Charter of 1663. The cover features the opening sentences of the historic document, which gave colonial Rhode Islanders an unprecedented degree of self-governance and religious liberty. The back cover features a photo of the charter, which is on display outside the Senate Chamber at the State House.
Mollis, Governor Chafee, and the RI 1663 Colonial Charter Commission are planning a series of events this summer to mark the 350th anniversary including opening the State House to the public on Sat., June 22.
Secretary of State Mollis is committed to making it easier to vote, making it easier to do business in Rhode Island and making government more open and accessible. For more information about the programs and services the Secretary of State offers Rhode Islanders, visit sos.ri.gov.
MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Barnett at 222-4293