Reclaim RI is a volunteer-based progressive organization fighting for social and economic justice in Rhode Island. Our founding members started organizing together in 2020 as volunteers for the Bernie Sanders campaign. When the campaign ended, we decided to continue working together to reclaim Rhode Island for the people.
In the last three years, we've built community power through a range of grassroots and electoral campaigns. We've elected working-class champions to the statehouse—most recently, Cherie Cruz, a Reclaim organizer and co-founder of the Formerly Incarcerated Union, as a new state representative for Pawtucket. We've also mobilized to win racial and economic justice. As an active member of the RI Cannabis Justice Coalition, we helped pass the most progressive marijuana legalization legislation in the country in 2021. Our coalition successfully fought to guarantee that the profits from the legal weed industry would benefit communities of color who have been harmed by marijuana criminalization, to ensure cannabis workers' right to organize, and to automatically expunge criminal records. In a first-in-the-nation move, we won six licenses for worker-owned cooperatives—meaning that a significant share of the marijuana industry in our state will be owned by workers rather than by "Big Weed." Today, we're working with workers, UFCW Local 328, and other organizations as part of a broad-based Rhode Island Cannabis Justice Coalition to navigate legal and financial challenges and get those cooperatives formed.
In the last year, we've devoted our energy to the fight for housing justice. We're working with tenants of one of the worst slumlords in Rhode Island, Pioneer Investments LLC, to organize a union to hold their landlord accountable. By standing up to a negligent and abusive landlord—who forces tenants to live with rats, lead paint, and other safety hazards, and uses threats and retaliatory evictions against those who demand repairs—the newly organized Pioneer Tenants United is creating a model for other tenants across the state who are looking to build collective power and demand their human right to decent, safe, and affordable housing.
Alongside this grassroots fight, we're also working with Pawtucket Sen. Meghan Kallman to champion the Create Homes Act. This bill would address the dire housing crisis by empowering the state to build new public and affordable units. It looks toward the model of European “social housing,” in which high-quality housing serves people at a range of income levels, including middle- and working-class tenants who struggle to afford comfortable places to live in today’s market, and poor people who can’t currently access the homes they need and deserve. This would spur one of the first investments by Rhode Island’s government in new public housing in decades—and would make ours the first state in the nation to create this kind of public developer program.
This is part of a broader Homes for All legislative package, which includes Warren Rep. June Speakman's bill to create a revolving fund to finance the public housing developer as well as taxes on harmful activities like housing speculation to generate the permanent operating subsidies that will be necessary for the public developer to build housing at the affordability levels that our state needs. We are also mobilizing in support of tenant rights legislation championed by Providence Sen. Tiara Mack and others.
Our view at Reclaim RI is simple: Rhode Island has never belonged to the people. But if we work together, it could. We’re fighting every day for a just Rhode Island where we the people can determine our collective future and enjoy collective flourishing.
To learn more about our organization, check out our Values, Vision, and Mission statement, below, and our more in-depth campaign pages here. You can also read press about our organization here. You can join us in the fight for a just Rhode Island here.
Equipping action: uplifting the lived experience of our members, while providing information and training that equips new leaders with the organizing skills we need to win.
Collective flourishing: building solidarity within the multiracial working class to create a more egalitarian and free society.
Community care: advancing inclusion, justice, and dignity for individuals and communities.
The Right to Thrive
High quality public education, good housing, quality healthcare, fair wages for all.
The Right to Popular Democracy
Popular education, neighborhood connectivity, collective power.
The Right to Economic Justice
Tax the rich, divest from the carceral state, reinvest in community. Economic democracy, including unionized and worker-owned businesses.
Dignity for All
Ending the drug war, abolishing the carceral state
In order to win our vision, we:
Elect champions for the people and pressure elected officials,
Organize neighbors working at the local level to build power across the state,
Mobilize people who have never thought of themselves as political organizers and empower ourselves with the knowledge, skills, and relationships to win change,
Enact a culture of strengthening solidarity across difference, developing new leaders, and building community power.
Co-Chair: Daniel Denvir
Co-Chair: Georgia Wright
Organizing Director: Miguel Martinez Youngs
Membership Coordinator: Nora Caplan-Bricker
Secretary: Yanine Guardia
Treasurer: Tyler Brown
Political Director: Hector Perez-Aponte