Jones relaunching North Smithfield Democratic Town Committee

Jones relaunching North Smithfield Democratic Town Committee

NORTH SMITHFIELD – A local resident is hoping an effort to revive the North Smithfield Democratic Town Committee will create a platform for change in the community.

Paul Jones, a School Committee member who ran an unsuccessful campaign for town administrator this past summer, is working with the state Democratic Party to relaunch the town’s Democratic committee. Jones said the committee will focus on advocating for town residents, particularly seniors, students and small business owners.

“In speaking with folks in town over the summer, I heard a lot of complaints that there was no organized Democratic town committee,” he said.

According to Jones, a local committee used to have a vibrant presence in town but over the past few years has “fallen by the wayside.” North Smithfield is one of only two municipalities that does not have contact information for a local committee included on the state Democratic Party’s online listing of city and town committees.

Local party committees traditionally serve the role of endorsing candidates from their parties for local and General Assembly elected positions. Jones said he also hopes the committee becomes active in community service and events such as Pumpkinfest.

“At the very least, I hope that organizing a Democratic Town Committee encourages more debate and conversation between folks here in North Smithfield,” he said.

Asked whether the committee will have a more moderate or progressive bent, Jones said he hopes it will draw a “broad array of voices” in the community.

“I hope that we have people who are progressives, people who are moderates all coming together to break down silos and have these conversations with each other about different perspectives that we may have about approaching common goals. I think there’s room for everybody,” he said.

The committee will hold its first organizing meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 26, over Zoom. During the meeting, Jones said, participants will approve bylaws, set a future meeting schedule and elect officers for chairperson, vice chairperson, treasurer and secretary.

Jones said he has not yet decided if he will run for an officer position.

Registered Democrats interested in joining the committee are asked to email before Jan. 22 to RSVP.