Maryellen Goodwin was born and raised in the Smith Hill neighborhood, and her community has always been close to her heart. Whether working to get volunteers to clean graffiti off a local business or successfully fighting to prevent a trash transfer station from locating near a residential neighborhood, Maryellen is a fierce advocate for the people and businesses of the community.
In the Senate, Maryellen has passed laws to invest in the community, including funding for construction projects for everything from local roads such as Smith Street to the reconstruction of I-95 by the Providence Place Mall. She has championed senior issues, domestic violence prevention, common sense gun laws, worker protections and public safety, especially for children. She sponsored the successful legislation making an historic $250 million investment in school construction, as well as additional capital investments in higher education, clean water, coastal resiliency and access, and recreational projects.
She was the driving force behind the state’s Paid Sick Leave law, improved options for senior home care, and stronger reporting requirements for abuse in schools.
She sponsored the state’s Red Flag law to remove firearms from individuals who pose a clear threat to themselves or
others, as well as the law to prohibit domestic abusers from possessing firearms.
Senator Goodwin has fought for significant increases in state aid for Providence schools, which as of 2020 increased to $264 million each year, and approved COVID relief assistance that resulted in a net increase of another $2.9 million for Providence schools this year. She fought for and secured increased funding for English Language Learners in Providence and around the state.
Senator Goodwin’s first elected public service was as delegate to the Rhode Island Constitutional Convention in 1985. She is also the Chairwoman of the Providence Democratic City Committee, and has served on numerous local boards over the years.
Maryellen has been recognized by numerous organizations for her work. She received the AARP’s national Capital Caregivers Award. Among other organizations that have awarded her for her work are MADD, the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the American Cancer Society, the Rhode Island National Guard and the Cesar Chavez Committee of Rhode Island.