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Herb Weiss endorsed to run for Sen. Donna Nesselbush’s seat in Pawtucket, as she leaves office

Herb Weiss Runs for Senate District 15, Receiving Endorsement of Rhode Island Senatorial District 15 Committee, Pawtucket, RI

On June 23, 2020, Herb Weiss announced his candidacy for Rhode Island State Senate District 15 (Pawtucket, North Providence). One day later, he received the endorsement of Democratic State Senate District 15 Committee. “I have known and worked with Herb Weiss both on the Democratic City Committee, as well as, on city projects. Herb always has the city’s best interests at heart and will work tirelessly on any task for the betterment of the community. Herb will certainly be an asset to Pawtucket’s legislative delegation,” says Mary Bray, Chair of the Pawtucket’s Democratic City Committee.

Adds City Councilor John Barry III (District 4), “Herb will bring energy and fierce determination to Smith Hill on behalf of District 15 and the City, and his tenacity will reap benefits for all of our residents from day one.”

“As a state Senator, I will work closely with the Pawtucket legislative delegation and city administration to continue the development of its waterfront, historic downtown and mills in the Conant Mill District abutting the new commuter rail station,” says Weiss. “Small businesses are key to generating jobs and improving the state’s economy and the state’s Commerce RI must allocate more funding in its Rhode Island Rebuild program to assist the state’s smaller companies,” he states. 

“For decades I have worked indefatigably for the City of Pawtucket to fill the old mills scattered throughout the city with small businesses and artists. As a state Senator, I can continue working closely on local and state policy issues that will impact the economy of both Pawtucket and North Providence that ultimately effect the quality of life for its residents,” states Weiss. 

“With the graying of Rhode Island’s population, I will work closely with Senate leadership to push for legislation that ensures that older Rhode Islanders will have the needed programs and services to keep them at home for as long as possible. Nursing homes must have the needed resources to provide quality of care to their residents,” adds Weiss. “Rhode Island must be prepared to face a new future that has been re-shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic. We can work together, as the state slowly reopens, to jump start the state’s broken economy and to protect the lives of our residents,” says Weiss. 

Known for his “tenacious efforts” over the past 21 years, Weiss, the City’s Economic and Cultural Affairs Officer, has tirelessly promoted the City of Pawtucket, by bringing artists and small businesses in to its numerous mills. His efforts to promote Pawtucket’s arts-oriented development strategy have been recognized both regionally and nationally.  In particular, his efforts to bring artists to the city’s historic mill buildings have attracted national attention in the New York Times, regionally in the Boston Globe, and locally.

He was among those whose efforts were recorded by filmmaker Jason Caminiti in “Pawtucket Rising”, a 2008 documentary.

Weiss is also known for his role in the creation of the Pawtucket Arts Festival (PAF), founded in 1999. In recognition of his efforts, the PAF Board gave him its inaugural Medal of Excellence Award in 2015. In 2004, Weiss was the first recipient of the non-profit Pawtucket Foundation’s Person of the Year award.  In 2005, he received the Advocacy in the Arts Action Award from All Children’s Theatre, and in 2013 he was recognized with an Excellence in Arts and Business award from the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council for his efforts to bring arts and art groups to the Pawtucket community. For his advocacy and support of the film industry, in 2010 the non-profit Rhode Island Film Collaborative gave him its first Excellence Award. In 2016, the Rhode Island International Film Festival recognized his efforts to promote the Rhode Island film industry by awarding him its Producer’s Circle Award.  

For the past seventeen years, Weiss  has been actively involved in the community, having worked closely with former first lady, Joan Doyle, and current first lady, Laureen Grebien, in collecting food to provide Turkey Baskets for hundreds for needy Pawtucket families at Thanksgiving time.  

In 2019, Weiss approached his senator, Sen. Donna Nesselbush on behalf of anti-semitism legislation to denounce and oppose White Nationalists and Neo Nazi groups, with successful results – his blog on this issue is here: https://herbweiss.blog/2019/06/10/religious-groups-urge-house-to-combat-antisemitism-and-racism/

For over 40 years, Weiss, 66, has covered aging, health care and medical issues, having written over 750 articles published in local, state and national newspapers. Currently his “Age Beat” commentary appears weekly in the Pawtucket Times, Woonsocket Call, and each month in Senior Digest. Over the years, his articles have also appeared in RINewsToday and other statewide news blogs. His journalistic work has been recognized by the American College of Health Care Administrator’s 1994 and 1999 National Journalism Awards, the 1998 Distinguished Alumnus award from the Department of Applied Gerontology at the University of North Texas in 1998, and the AARP Rhode Island’s 2004 Vision Award.

In 2014, Weiss co-edited an e-book with Dr. Nancy Carriuolo, then President of Rhode Island College, detailing the emails of Richard Walton, a well-known Rhode Island social activist and fixture at Stone Soup Coffeehouse. Two years later he published a collection of his articles for seniors called, Taking Charge: Collected Stories on Aging Boldly. 

Weiss has a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a social work certificate from the University of Texas in 1977. Later he received a master’s degree (Studies in Aging) in 1979 from North Texas State University and completed 27 hours toward his doctoral program in public administration at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, from 1984-1988.

Politically, for over 14 years Herb has served on both the Pawtucket Democratic Committee and the City’s Democratic District 4 Committee. He has served on the Rhode Island State Senate District 15 Committee for almost 10 years. 

Weiss is married to Patricia S. Zacks (D’Angelo), owner of the Providence-based business, The Camera Werks, and has two step children, Ben and Samantha, and two grandchildren, Charlie and Lily, and a chocolate lab, Molly.  He has lived in Oak Hill, Pawtucket since 1995.

Editor’s Note: Weiss is a RINewsToday regular contributor on issues of aging.

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