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

Casey is a state representative from Woonsocket and a member of the city’s fire department. He currently serves as chair of the House Municipal Government and Housing Committee and sits on several other committees, including Labor and Veterans’ Affairs.

He is a graduate of Melrose High School and Boston College.

Below are Casey’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?

“The Housing Crisis is a major issue for all of us. I am very proud as Chair, House Municipal Government and Housing Committees in the House of Representatives, we passed the most comprehensive package in state history, led by Speaker Shekarchi this year. Rhode Island’s history includes the creation of mill villages that should serve as a model to address the crisis going forward – by learning from our past.

“The creation of mill villages in Rhode Island’s history can indeed serve as a valuable model for addressing the housing crisis. These villages were built around factories to accommodate the workforce, providing housing and other essential amenities.

“The layout of mill villages was often centered around communal spaces and walkable neighborhoods, fostering a sense of community and connection. Emphasizing community design in modern housing projects can create environments that promote social interactions and well-being; essential Smart Growth developments. They also required collaboration between government, employers, and community stakeholders. Similarly, a comprehensive approach to solving the housing crisis can involve partnerships between government agencies, private sector entities, nonprofit organizations, and community members. By learning from Rhode Island’s history and the principles behind the creation of mill villages, you’re taking a thoughtful and holistic approach to tackling the housing crisis. It’s a great example of how drawing inspiration from the past can guide effective solutions for the present and future.”

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

“Foreign Aid Spending – as a global superpower and the world’s wealthiest nation, funding efforts to promote democracy, alleviate poverty, promote stability, and address global challenges is incredibly important, but the U.S. has an increasing number of challenges not being met.

“I propose a 10% Takeback Program to redirect 10% of all US foreign aid spending to address pressing domestic issues like homelessness, healthcare, veteran support, and elder services. It is my view that a balanced approach that considers both domestic and international priorities and could be more effective in the long run. We could also target spending to allocate a portion of foreign aid for specific projects that directly benefit the U.S., such as collaborations on research, infrastructure development, and technology transfer.”

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

“I am an Eagle Scout and a Freemason, something that only one U.S. President in our history (Gerald Ford) has achieved. I graduated from Boston College with a degree in communications, which has proven invaluable in my decade-long tenure in leadership roles at the State House.

“I became a firefighter at the age of 38 because I felt the need to serve my community after 18 years in the financial services industry in management and operations roles.”

Visit Casey’s campaign website »

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