Allen Waters was a Democratic candidate in the race for Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional District.

Waters is trying to win the House seat for the second time in as many years. He ran as a Republican last fall and lost to David Cicilline, who would step down several months later.

Prior to that, Waters ran an unsuccessful campaign for U.S. Senate in 2020, losing to Jack Reed.

Waters is from Providence. He graduated from Classical High School and URI before working for 30 years as an investment consultant. His website also says he’s served on the boards of various organizations, including Rhode Island Black Heritage Society, South Providence Tutorial and Providence Country Day School.

Below are Waters’ responses to a three-question survey from 12 News:

1. What do you think is the biggest issue facing the country today, and how do you think Congress should address it?

“The decline and increasing abandonment of K-12 public education is the biggest issue facing the nation today. From the decline of achievement test scores to declining school enrollment to what some people consider “indoctrination” of students by consciously and actively pushing a certain opinion to unconsciously and passively emphasizing a particular ideological viewpoint over another and not letting children, perhaps by teaching them critical thinking skills, come to their own conclusions and beliefs without being ‘coached.’ In Rhode Island, public school systems, such as Providence, have been failing to educate a larger majority of students to national grade-level standards for decades, and most certainly negatively affects a student’s human capital potential for the rest of his or her lifetime, just by being burdened with some degree of functional illiteracy and subpar math skills. To broadly increase educational achievement across the state, Waters for Congress supports universal publicly funded school choice in Rhode Island; let the money follow the child, not limited by family zip code to government schooling choices only.

“Relatedly, I am an advocate for Parents’ Rights as parents know the best choices for their children, not the government, especially when it comes to matters of sexuality and gender. Schools advocating for and supporting a minor child’s interest in gender transitioning and hiding that fact from parents is an abomination and must be resisted to the fullest extent. In a civil society, it is what is termed ‘crossing the line’ of decency.”

2. What is an under-the-radar issue you are passionate about which you would make one of your priorities in Congress?

“Waters for Congress has a number of passions that can make great positive societal changes, such as the development of hydrogen energy and infrastructure to power vehicles and other energy needs, even if less efficient than electricity. My greatest passion to be able to help many Rhode Islanders in a reasonably short amount of time (years versus decades), especially to be able to promote it as an influential U.S. Representative for CD1, is cooperative housing (co-ops). Co-ops allow tenants of different styles of housing from traditional apartment buildings to urban tenement-style homes, for example, to own corporate shares of the complex instead of just owning the unit in which they live, such as a condominium. The key word is ownership (versus just renting) as that implies financial equity and the growth of wealth over time, especially as the tenant pays down a mortgage used to purchase the co-op shares. I call it having ‘skin in the game,’ as just paying rent only enriches the private or public building owner. I want to see credit-worthy Rhode Islanders from poorer to moderate income levels have more housing choices that reduce our housing shortage crisis and put real ownership within the reach of many tenants instead of the fewer rental property owners.”

3. What do you think voters should know about your background that makes you stand out from the other 11 candidates?

“As a sixty-seven-year-old candidate, Waters for Congress, a black American, is a 4th generation resident and native of Providence. A married, father of five children, ages sixteen, seventeen, nineteen, forty-two, and forty-six, I have always been an active and caring parent in their growing lives, and as a traditionalist, I understand the societal importance of a positive, consistent, male parental role model in the development of young women and men in America. My career in my prime working years was primarily as an investment consultant for a number of firms (See FINRA Brokercheck). Having a basic knowledge of investments, personal insurance, how the economy works, and how they are affected by government policy from the Federal Reserve to Congress and the non-elected bureaucracy, will provide me the ability to grow quickly in my role as a U.S. Representative.

“My father (1930-2006) served with the 8th Army Ranger Company (Airborne) in Korea, the first of two black men to do so, and was the first black Providence Patrolman on a motorcycle serving the city from 1954-1973 to finish his working career as a cabinet maker and small contractor. My mother, from the Codding Court Housing Projects, retired as the lead bookkeeper at The Wheeler School after twenty-five years under Headmaster Bill Prescott. I think that the city girl and the private school patrician got along just fabulously. My point is I was blessed with upstanding, married parents who were no-nonsense in the raising of their two children, who went to church every now and then, and who imparted upon us the values of proper behavior behind closed home doors and in the world. I have done my best to pass on those same values to my children, and I must confess, I am still tickled inside (where did this kid come from?), when my sixteen-year-old son who is entering eleventh grade at La Salle Academy says “thank you” every time I serve him a meal or bring him one home. I am so thankful for my familial blessings with good health for all and no social, emotional, or legal trouble among us.

“Today, I receive Social Security income and other retirement income benefits and work mostly as a part-time chauffeur for a Warwick-based company, although last winter through spring (January – June) I also worked for the first time in my life as a substitute teacher (basically a teacher’s aide) for Providence Schools at Nathan Bishop Middle School across from Brown University Football Stadium. I will make myself available for work at Providence Schools this September, I like the work hours. Since I am a K-12 graduate of Providence Public Schools (Classical High School Class of 1973), I consider it not only getting paid but giving back to my community, as a semi-retired professional who dresses the part and is a positive role model to young students of all racial and ethnic backgrounds.

“Politically, I am a natural independent, getting involved in politics in latter 2013. Philosophically, I am a classical liberal advocating for individual freedom (versus collectivism), free market enterprise (versus centralized government control), limited government (versus the D.C. bureaucratic swamp), and a strong national (and accountable) defense. I support term limits. I signed the Americans for Tax Reform ( Taxpayers Protection Pledge dedicated to never raising your taxes. If we need a Convention of States to help implement a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, we must force the politicians on both sides of the aisle to live within their means. Our nation is over $32,000,000,000,000 in debt and I promise the voters of RI CD1, that Allen Waters will be the adult in the room.

“Lastly, I want to help eliminate the federal income tax burden, complexity, and compliance costs for Rhode Islanders, personal and business. I support the FairTax Act of 2023 (HR 25) ( Replace the federal income tax with a 23% national retail sales tax on new goods (0% tax on used goods) and services; advance rebate the sales tax monthly to all citizen households up to the poverty level so it doe not hurt the poor, and close the Internal Revenue Service. The federal income tax was enacted in 1913, one hundred and ten years ago. Let America make it go away for our future generations.

“Although I was a Republican when I ran for U.S. Senate in 2020 in Rhode Island and for Congress in RI CD1 in 2022, I joined the Democratic Party on December 1, 2022, and I am looking forward. There are no independent (unaffiliated) members in the House of Representatives, so you basically have to pick a party for the structure and funding to win a federal election, even if you are not a strong and dedicated partisan. All of my constituents and my personal values will be more important to me than the party platform, so do not expect Allen Waters to blindly follow any political party without critical thought of my actions.

“Today, I label myself a conservative (JFK) Kennedy Democrat, perhaps being a throwback to when the Party was more centrist in nature versus labeling itself a Progressive party today. I am not a socialist and want to reduce government dependency and increase the personal independence associated with ascendancy through education, values, and hard work. When elected, I intend to join the Blue Dog Coalition ( in the House which adheres to commonsense solutions, traditional values, and fiscal responsibility, and when appropriate, I will work across the aisle with Republican members of the House to help better my state and nation.

“If the voters of RI CD1 are looking for more than just representation, I intend to be a leader even if leadership means I walk alone.”

Visit Waters’ campaign website »

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