Amo worked in the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs under the Obama and Biden administrations. There, he was a liaison to governors and other elected officials nationwide.
He also worked as a special assistant to President Biden, and was an aide to then-Gov. Gina Raimondo between his stints at the White House.
Amo resigned from his position in April before announcing his candidacy.
He grew up in Pawtucket and is a graduate of Moses Brown School and Wheaton College.
Below are Amo’s 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?
“We must protect the freedom to live without the fear of gun violence. In the White House, as President Biden’s Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, I was often the first call to a mayor following a mass shooting to initiate the federal response to an incident.
“Over my time in the Biden White House, I made that first call after too many deadly shootings that have been in the headlines – in places like Uvalde, Buffalo, and Highland Park. After these acts of senseless violence, I not only brought the condolences of the President and the entire Administration, but I also provided the commitment of the federal government to help communities heal – leading efforts to help affected communities access federal support and resources.
“I am proud to have been the first candidate in this race to announce real steps – not just rhetoric – that I would take as a member of Congress to prevent gun violence and marshal the resources of the federal government to take long overdue action.
“Working together with my Democratic colleagues and those in the Republican Party who are willing to stand up to the NRA and the gun lobby, I will work to do the following:
- Carry on former Congressman Cicilline’s legacy on this issue, and continue the fight to finally ban assault-style weapons in our country.
- Support legislation to build on the progress of last year’s Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the first significant piece of gun safety legislation in over 30 years, to increase funding for research at the CDC for gun violence prevention.
- Work with Representative Lucy McBath of Georgia who lost her son to gun violence and Representative Brian Fitzpatrick, a Republican from Pennsylvania, to enact red flag laws and common sense universal background checks.
- Build on federal investments in community violence intervention and support groups like the Nonviolence Institute.
- Work towards the long-term goal of repealing gun industry immunity.”
2. What is an under-the-radar issue you are passionate about which you would make one of your priorities in Congress?
“There are two issues that I believe are flying under the radar, both in this campaign and in the national discourse as well.
“Right now, there are many large entities around the country that are collecting and trading data on us, from the stores we shop in to the social media we consume. In an increasingly digitally connected world, it is of utmost priority that we one, have some control over our identities in life and online, and two, that as that information is bought and sold, that we retain as much of our individual privacy as possible – an issue which is compounded by the growth in Artificial Intelligence and the mirroring of our identities in a range of venues. Additionally, I support the Biden Administration’s efforts to establish a Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights, and as a member of Congress, I would be focused on getting legislation passed to address both the privacy and workforce concerns that Artificial Intelligence presents.
“The second is the “care economy,” that is the work of caring for our seniors, children, and those unable to care independently for themselves. The burden of this work, traditionally, has fallen on women and has usually been unpaid. This reality has led to many women having fewer savings in retirement and greater instability in their employment, as we have not provided enough support and resources for caregivers to take paid time off of work to take care of their children, aging parents, or other family members. In Congress, I would support legislation to expand and diversify the care economy workforce, increasing the number of CNAs, nurses, and home health aids. I would work to expand access to high-quality childcare so that no family is paying more than 7% of their income on childcare. Finally, and this is not an exhaustive list, I would support legislation to make the expanded child tax credit permanent. The American Rescue Plan did this and the program cut childhood poverty in half.”
3. What do you think voters should know about your background that makes you stand out from the other 11 candidates?
“What makes me different from the other candidates in this race is my experience.
“Running for Congress is like interviewing for a job, and the job of a congressperson is to work at the federal level to advocate for Rhode Island values and our Rhode Island communities. I am the only candidate with experience at the federal level that is recent, relevant, and meets the moment. While I have not been elected, I have been at the forefront of working to pass and then implement major pieces of President Biden’s historic legislative agenda, most significantly the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) which has federal dollars to improve our roads and bridges, expand broadband to every household in Rhode Island and across the country, build out an electric vehicle charging network, and so much more, including investment to prevent some of the worst impacts of climate change on our communities.
“Additionally, while we are lucky here in Rhode Island that Democrats have a clear governing majorities across state government, we know that not everywhere has that. I have been part of the big partisan fights of our day, but we need a congressperson who is able to work across party lines to get things done. I have done that – most recently to help pass the BIL. Part of my job was to engage mayors in red and blue states, Democratic and Republican mayors and governors alike, and encourage them to put bottom-up pressure on their federal delegation to support the bill – and make it bipartisan. These efforts worked, because as President Biden says, there is no Democrat bridge or Republican road, and we need to appeal to our shared values in delivering for people across the country.
“I want to go to Washington, D.C. to work on behalf of the community that has invested so much in me. From humble beginnings in Pawtucket to serving at the heights of government, I have never forgotten where home is – right here in Rhode Island. My experience is what sets me apart, and I believe it is what will allow me to effectively serve and your family as our next congressperson from day one.”
Meet the Candidates: Stephanie Beauté ☆ Walter Berbrick ☆ Sandra Cano ☆ Don Carlson ☆ Steve Casey ☆ Spencer Dickinson ☆ Terri Flynn ☆ John Goncalves ☆ Gerry Leonard ☆ Sabina Matos ☆ Ana Quezada ☆ Aaron Regunberg ☆ Allen Waters