For Rhode Islanders concerned about the onrushing climate crisis, the choice to continue Rep. David Cicilline’s progressive legacy in Congress is clear: former State Representative Aaron Regunberg. Climate Action Rhode Island is thrilled to endorse Aaron Regunberg for Congress in 2023.

Standing out from the field of candidates, Regunberg has proven himself for years to be an energetic, engaged, and effective leader on climate issues. In Congress, he won’t be just a vote for good bills; he’ll be a climate organizer, actively advancing strong policies at the scale of the crisis and building coalitions to pass them into law. 

“Our country is running out of time to tackle the climate crisis,” said Denise Taliaferro, co-chair of CARI’s Politics Team. “Electing Aaron Regunberg to Congress will meaningfully improve our chances of taking action in time to preserve a safe future.”

Sasha Naydich, co-chair of CARI’s Politics Team, said, “Representative David Cicilline has been great on climate issues in Congress. Our statewide politics team is unanimous in believing that Aaron Regunberg is the best choice to continue and build on Cicilline’s legacy.”

“Aaron Regunberg understands that the climate crisis intersects with other day-to-day issues affecting communities in our district. He will listen to his constituents and fight for them,” said Caitlin Sanford, lead of CARI’s Providence Local Team. “We need a Representative in Congress like Aaron who won’t let up until our nation is on a sustainable course.”


Regunberg’s Record of Progress

Regunberg’s sterling record on climate issues includes numerous activities and accomplishments over the years:

Regunberg’s advocacy spans a wide range of issues, not only protecting the climate. He believes, as we do, that climate justice is deeply connected to economic justice, immigrant justice, reproductive justice, and racial justice; and his record shows a passion for those issues, too. But the climate is a top priority for him, as his announcement video makes clear.

“Many politicians offer lip service to environmental issues, but Aaron is different,” said Justin Boyan, CARI President. “He has proven his commitment to climate advocacy throughout his time in public life, from the bills he fought for at the State House to his organizing work against fossil-fuel firms to his many articles in national publications. We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is the best candidate to advance the climate fight in Washington.”

“We appreciate Aaron’s record of making renewable energy more affordable, opposing polluting fossil fuel projects in our communities, and working to unite a range of groups behind clean energy development,” said CARI Vice President Abby Huber.

Will Nakshian, lead of CARI’s Blackstone Local Team, said: “Aaron’s determination to cut subsidies to fossil fuel companies and hold them accountable for the destruction they have knowingly caused to our climate makes him the leading candidate to represent Rhode Island Congressional District 1.”

Jeff Migneault, CARI Board Member and Newport County Local Team co-lead, said simply: “For anyone who really wants to move the needle on climate action, Regunberg is the clear choice.”


Background and Process

Climate Action Rhode Island (, the statewide affiliate of, is a citizens group of 3000+ members advocating urgent action to stem the climate crisis. We have issued endorsements in each election cycle since 2018, supporting our endorsed candidates with fundraising, volunteers for door-knocking and canvassing, email blasts to our members, press releases, phone banking, and text banking. In 2022, 41/50 of our endorsed candidates for General Assembly were elected, including 8 new legislators.

Our criteria for endorsement are straightforward: we seek candidates who understand the urgency of the climate crisis and will not merely support, but actively drive the passage of, laws strong enough to end the crisis.

In late April, we invited each candidate to apply for our endorsement by answering a questionnaire about their climate priorities. We are grateful to all 10 candidates who took the time to respond: Amo, Autiello, Beauté, Berbrick, Biah, Cano, Carlson, Goncalves, Regunberg, and Waters. CARI’s Statewide Politics Team independently reviewed the questionnaires, scoring them on a scorecard that gave points for their experience and plans. Several of the candidates in the race impressed us, including Don Carlson and Nick Autiello, with their climate-oriented careers; Rhode Island State Senator Sandra Cano, who has been a reliable co-sponsor of environmental bills at the State House; and Providence City Councillor John Goncalves, a CARI endorsee in 2020 and 2022, with commendable accomplishments on local issues.

However, Aaron Regunberg’s experience in building coalitions to pass climate legislation and direct organizing to challenge the oil industry stood out. The scorecard results gave a clear victory to Regunberg, who earned an average score of 96.4%. (The three runner-up scores were 76.5%, 68.3%, and 58.8%.) When the team met to discuss the candidates in detail and vote, the vote was 10–0 in favor of Regunberg. Finally, CARI’s Leadership Team ratified the endorsement by a vote of 14–0. We believe Regunberg offers not only the strongest record of climate advocacy and legislation, but also proven electability, having won 49% of the statewide vote against incumbent Lieutenant Governor Dan McKee in 2018.

The window of time for climate action is closing. The 2023 special election presents a crucial opportunity to send a climate champion to Congress. We hope all environmentally conscious organizations and voters in District 1 will join Climate Action RI in supporting Aaron Regunberg for Congress.