With 18 new members in the 113-seat General Assembly, On Politics is offering a periodic look at the latest additions to the House and Senate. We continue with Representative Joseph J. Solomon Jr. (D-Warwick), who comes from a family tradition of being politically active.
Occupation: Self-employed lawyer.
Favorite Food: Eggplant Parmesan sandwich with hot pepper rings.
Favorite TV Show: I have to go with Seinfeld. It's an oldie, but goody. I feel you can relate everything in life to a Seinfeld episode.
Why did you run to be a state rep? To make things better for the state. I believe I can contribute to the state, bring new ideas to the table – whether it be in economic development or other ideas.
What living political figure do you most admire, and why? I have a few. My uncle Anthony, the former general treasurer, has a great relationship with people. I see all the good things that he's done over the years. My father [Joseph J. Solomon Sr.] as well -- he's a councilman in Warwick. Sometimes you have to make tough decisions, but you do it for the people.
What are your top goals for this session? Economic development is definitely number one. I feel we have to create more jobs. We have to think outside the box in doing that, too. We need to simply the regulation scheme out there. It’s too complex for businesses to start up a business in this state. We need to simply the process so that any business can start up in our state.
The best thing about Rhode Island is ____? Coastline -- we have just under 400 miles of coastline. I feel that we need to use that to our benefit. We have two world-class ports, with the port of Davisville and ProvPort, and we need to show that we're open to do business in the state.
The worst thing about Rhode Island is ____? Negative attitude about this state. I feel we need to be more proud of our state and the good things that we have. We have to change our attitude from inside, so that other people from out of state will appreciate what we have in Rhode Island.
Fun Fact: Solomon's entry to the House of Representatives reflects the importance of timing in politics. The former lawyer for the House policy office was in the right place at the right time when former Rep Frank Ferri left the chamber to run an ultimately losing campaign for lieutenant governor (that also helped boost Lieutenant Governor Daniel McKee over primary rival Ralph Mollis).
Also in this series: State Representative Daniel Reilly (R-Portmouth)