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5/16/2014 Almeida to receive first Billy Taylor House Community Leadership Award
STATE HOUSE – Rep. Joseph S. Almeida will be honored next week by Billy Taylor House with the Billy Taylor Community Leadership Award.

This award commemorates the service and vision of the late Billy Taylor, who mentored a generation of youth in the Mount Hope neighborhood. This is the first time the organization is presenting the award, which it plans to do annually.

Since his first election to the House in 1998, Representative Almeida (D-Dist. 12, Providence) has served in many capacities: as chairman of the Rhode Island Minority Leadership/Legislative Caucus, vice chairman of the House Labor Committee, secretary of the Separation of Powers Committee, and as a member of the Finance Committee, the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, the Committee on Highway Safety and the Martin Luther King Day Commission. He has also been a deputy majority leader and was recently named deputy majority whip of the House. Representative Almeida is a retired Providence police officer and co-founder of the Rhode Island Minority Police Association. He is now the owner of Essence Construction.

Representative Almeida is a strong voice for minorities, low-income families, civil rights, fair housing, neighborhoods and small businesses. He introduced the successful “Driving While Black” legislation, which required a study of racial profiling by Rhode Island’s police departments. He sponsored pivotal legislation to overhaul Rhode Island’s laws on lead paint to protect children. He was also the sponsor of the successful ballot question that restored voting rights to people on probation or parole for a felony conviction.

“Representative Almeida was selected because of his longstanding record in successful advocacy for civil rights in Rhode Island – his demonstrated leadership on issues including racial profiling, voting rights, and fair housing. His ties to Mount Hope date back to his years as a Providence police officer who implemented the innovative community policing model and built lasting local relationships,” said Eugene Monteiro, board chairman of Billy Taylor House.

The award will be presented at Billy Taylor House’s spring gala on May 24 at 6 p.m. at the Rhode Island Convention Center. The event will be hosted by comedian and actor Joe Torry of Def Comedy Jam. For more information and tickets, visit

For more information, contact:
Meredyth R. Whitty, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 222-1923