Media Event: Report Cards passed out today at Statehouse


WHAT:    State Report Cards Handed Out
WHEN:    Thursday, February 16, 3pm-4pm
WHERE:  RI Statehouse Rotunda

Providence, RI — Legislators, staffers, and passers-by will have their competitiveness report cards handed out to them this afternoon at the Statehouse, but it is doubtful that many will want to take them home, as the Ocean State has graded 28 Fs, 11 Ds, 9 Cs, and just 1 A.

The Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, which released the Report Card on Rhode Island Competitiveness on Tuesday, will be at the Capitol from 3pm-4pm this afternoon (Thursday) handing out hard-copies. The media is invited to attend to talk to citizens as they receive their report cards, or to ask questions of the Center’s CEO, Mike Stenhouse. The public is also welcome to attend and receive a copy.

 “This dismal report card represents a general failure, both on behalf of legislators who have allowed our tax and regulatory structure to become so utterly non-competitive with our neighboring states, and on behalf of voters who have been asleep at the switch”, said Stenhouse. “There has been a very strong response to the report card from citizens, advocacy groups, and even from the RI-GOP, which chose to include our report card at their recent press conference as evidence of the decrepit state our economy. I think it will be interesting to see how some of our citizens react.”

The complete report card, with data sources and notes, can be downloaded from the Center’s website at  .


The Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity is the state’s leading free-enterprise public policy think tank. Non-partisan, yet firm in its belief that freedom is indispensable to citizens’ well-being and prosperity, the Center for Freedom’s mission is to restore competitiveness to Rhode Island through the advancement of market-based reform solutions.

The Report Card was reviewed and edited by nationally renowned economist, Scott Moody, who will not be on hand at today’s event.


Student Essay Contest

In honor of Milton Friedman, an American icon for economic and educational freedom, the RI Center for Freedom and Prosperity invites high school students to submit an essay portraying their views about how freedom can enhance their lives.


Successful essays will discuss generally how federal, state, or local public policy may serve to enhance or detract from your capacity to live the American dream and to pursue a free and prosperous life.

Essays should also comment on a specific public policy that restricts your freedom to prosper and should also discuss how changes to that public policy would enhance your personal freedoms in a positive way. References should also be made to the corresponding philosophies of Dr. Friedman.

Be sure to personalize your essay so that your individual aspirations or concerns are considered. Cite original sources when referring to specific legislation, reports, or political philosophies.



TO ENTER * Submit your essay before December 15, 2011 . Your entire essay, citations, and personal information must be ‘pasted’ into the main body of your email for submission. Entries with file attachments will not be accepted or opened and will be automatically disqualified.

Also provide the following personal information: full name, email address, city of residence, high school and grade.

You may also enter by mailing your essay prior to December 15, 2011, with the above personal information to: RI Center for Freedom and Prosperity, PO BOX 10069, Cranston, RI 02910.

ELIGIBILITY RESTRICTIONS * The contest is open to any student enrolled in grades 9-12 in a public or private high school, or home school, in Rhode Island during the 2011-2012 academic year. Employees of the RI Center for Freedom, its PR agency, participating sponsors and promotional partners including television or radio stations, and the members of their immediate families (and/or households) are not eligible to participate or win.

CONDITIONS * By participating in the contest, winners agree to have their essay content used in any material relating to this contest. Where legal, parents will be asked to sign a publicity release permitting release of the student’s name prior to acceptance of any prize. * Prior to awarding any prize, the Center for Freedom in its sole discretion may require contest winner to sign a liability release, agreeing to hold the RI Center for Freedom and Prosperity and its directors, employees, agents and representatives of each of them harmless against any and all claims or liability arising directly or indirectly from the prize or participation in the contest. * The RI Center for Freedom reserves the right to disqualify any person tampering with the entry process. It further reserves the right to cancel, terminate or modify the contest if it is not capable of completion as planned.


Up to 10 essays will be selected as finalists and reviewed in greater detail. In order to be considered for one of the top 3 winning spots, all finalists will be required to submit proof of school enrollment as well as to have parents sign a release form that authorizes the RI Center for Freedom and Prosperity to utilize content from the student’s essay.

First, second, and third place winners will be announced during January of 2012. Winners will receive a “Pillar of Freedom” award and a brand new I-Pad. This prestigious award recognizes contributions by citizens who have advanced the concept of personal freedom for Rhode Islanders.

Winners will also be invited to read their essays, live on the Helen Glover radio show on WHJJ 920 AM; and will have their essays published on the RI Center for Freedom and Prosperity website.

Donated products or cash scholarship prizes may also be awarded.

Essays will be judged by a special committee of RI Center for Freedom staff and volunteers.

NOTIFICATION OF WINNERS: Winners will be announced on the RI Center for Freedom and Propserity Facebook page and on the Helen Glover radio show in January 2012. You do not have to be listening to win.

All qualified entrants who submitted their essays via email will receive an email notification upon announcement of the winners.