Seeking to carry forward a tradition of public service
He may have come knocking at your door; and if he hasn’t, you may see Joseph Solomon Jr. soon.
Joe Solomon, 30, is running for Frank Ferri’s seat as state representative for District 22. To promote himself and his campaign, he has been going door-to-door six or seven days a week for three-plus hours.
Solomon said in an interview Tuesday, “I am meeting so many great new people. Good ideas come from the people. It’s that I am willing to listen that will make me a good state representative. I am going to knock on doors every day to get to know not only the people, but their concerns.”
The soft-spoken Solomon grew up in Warwick, attending Hoxsie Elementary, then St. Kevin’s and Bishop Hendricken. He earned his undergraduate degree from Providence College and his law degree at New England Law, Boston. He interned and clerked in various state offices here and in Boston.
He passed not only the Rhode Island Bar, but also the bars for Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. He now works alongside his father as partner at Solomon Law Offices. Up until he announced his candidacy, he worked in the State House as a Legal Counsel to the Joint Committee on Legislative Services (JCLS).
“My exposure to government services through these internships created a desire to send my resume for continued involvement with public service. I was called in for an interview and based on my resume and qualifications I was proud to be selected. It has been rewarding to serve all officials, Republicans, Democrats and other officials,” Solomon wrote in an email.
His father, also Joseph Solomon, is Ward 4’s city councilman, and his cousin, Michael, is running for mayor of Providence. His family has a long-running tradition of public service in Rhode Island. His grandfather, the late Walter Santos, was the Ward 4 councilman.
Solomon said, “I knew I wanted to practice law from a young age. I wanted to help people, especially businesses. I know how difficult it can be for anyone; I want to make things easier on everyone.”
Growing up, Solomon worked in Anthony’s Drug Store and Legal Motors, and through his law practices has been very involved with the startup of businesses.
“I’ve been at the ground level of businesses and worked my way up,” Solomon said. “I know what they need. I want to improve business, not stifle it. I am hoping to get rid of the red tape holding businesses back and bring them back to Rhode Island.”
Solomon explained that if elected, he wants to work on expediting the permitting process by consolidating the process and making it more universal. He also hopes to lower the minimum corporate tax. It would help bring more business to the state and stabilize the tax base brining property taxes down. He is also hoping to have more state aid come into the city of Warwick.
He and Jennifer Siciliano, his opponent, have mirroring beliefs and policies.
Solomon said, “We need to show businesses the Rhode Island we all know, one we all love. We need to prove that this is a place where people want to stay.”
He understands that there are people leaving Rhode Island and he wants to work to make Rhode Island more affordable as state representative.
“We have a growing older population. Foreclosures are a problem; we need to keep people in their homes,” Solomon said.
Solomon grew up not only in Rhode Island, but also right here in Warwick. His opponent for the Democratic primary did not. Siciliano grew up in Stamford, Conn.
“I know my neighbors,” Solomon said. “I’ve lived here; my roots are here. I know how to solve the problems. I have the utmost respect for my opponent. We are both working towards the same goal; we want to do our best to help District 22 and Rhode Island.”
Solomon said he has always been interested in running for public office, especially after watching many in his family do the same before him. After hearing Frank Ferri was running for lieutenant governor, Solomon thought this would be the perfect opportunity to run for elective office.
“My family has been very supportive. I have always had a love for this state and this city, but I know improvements can and need to be made,” Solomon said.
Solomon is running as a Democrat, but reasons to solve any issue all sides have to be considered and understood.
“This is about bringing back hope to Rhode Island. We need to work together on every issue. Nothing can be accomplished if we aren’t willing to listen to other perspectives,” Solomon said.
Solomon held a fundraiser in late July at Harbor Lights Marina and Country Club and another fundraiser is in the works, but the young candidate is focusing on meeting the citizens, his potential voters, by going door to door throughout Warwick. He encourages everyone to reach out to him either on his Facebook page, Solomon For Rep, or his email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Solomon said, “I hope to meet everyone. I am going to try at least. I know my door is always open.”