Not All Problems Beg for Government Action
The solutions to many of the problems contributing to Rhode Island’s poor FPI ranking should not rest solely—or, in many cases, at all—in the hands of government officials. As the FPI measures economic, demographic, and cultural indicators, many problems should be understood and addressed by religious, business, and other community leaders and civic organizations—in alignment with parallel policy reforms.
A Robust Civil Society is Needed
To achieve all of these ambitious goals in the pursuit of greater family prosperity, the committed engagement of political, business, civic, and religious leaders is essential. All sectors of our state and communities must collaborate to reduce the corrosive in influence of over-reliance on government programs by Rhode Island families—a major challenge indeed.
Before real solutions that help families can be formulated, we all must first agree on the problem and embark on a new path to achieve increased family prosperity. The Family Prosperity Index shows us the way.
In response to this civic challenge, a new state initiative has evolved: the Rhode Island Families Coalition. The Coalition is a non-partisan group of civil society leaders who have pledged to advance the well-being of all families and individuals in our state. Founded by conservative activist Mike Stenhouse and by civil rights advocate Ray Rickman, the focus of the group is to identify concrete and practical measures that transcend political ideology and help families to achieve greater self-sufficiency and upward mobility. Also, members of the coalition include Gary Sasse and Johanna Harris. It is time for the left and right to stop talking past one another and find common ground so as to become a powerful, united voice for reform.
We encourage community, non-profit, religious, and business leaders of good will and an open mind to become engaged in the RI Families Coalition.
So far, the Rhode Island Families Coalition has supported Hair Braider Freedom and Justice Reinvestment.