Representative Terri Cortvriend (D) was first elected to represent District 72 in Portsmouth and Middletown in November 2018. She is the second vice chair of the House Small Business Committee and is a member of the House Finance Committee and the House Environment and Natural Resources Committee.
In the House, Representative Cortvriend has been a leader in efforts to mitigate climate change and pollution, address public shoreline access, support education and prevent substance abuse, particularly among youth. In 2022 she led a commission, created by legislation she sponsored in 2021, that studied issues related to protecting Rhode Islanders’ constitutionally guaranteed
right to access the shore, resulting in a
proposal to address questions around public access. In 2022, her years-long effort resulted in two new laws prohibiting polyfluoroalkyl
(PFAS) in food packaging and legislation requiring the Department of Health to establish maximum contaminate levels of
PFAs in drinking water. She was a cosponsor of the
Act on Climate.
In 2020, Representative Cortvriend and Rep. Lauren Carson launched the
Aquidneck Island Climate Caucus, a community group to give voice to the importance of mitigating and adapting for the earth’s changing climate.
In 2021, her legislation created the
Nathan Bruno and Jason Flatt Act, which requires suicide awareness and prevention training for teachers and school personnel and establishes a conflict resolution process between teachers or school personnel and students. Another law she sponsored in 2021 now precludes the
disability of a parent from serving as a basis for denial or restriction in matters involving a child's welfare, foster care, family law, guardianship, or adoption.
Before her election to the House of Representatives, Representative Cortvriend served on the Portsmouth School Committee from 2004 to 2008 and from 2012 to 2018, the last four years as chairwoman. She served on the Portsmouth Water and Fire District Advisory Board from 2011 to 2017, the Portsmouth Tank Farm Redevelopment Advisory Committee from 2010 to the present, the Portsmouth Charter Review Committee in 2012 and the Portsmouth Economic Development Committee from 2009 to 2013.
Born January 15, 1962, she graduated from North Miami Senior High School in 1980 and is a graduate of Miami Dade Community College. She also studied business management at Florida International University and accounting at Community College of Rhode Island.
Representative Cortvriend is the owner of Ocean Link, Inc., a marine plumbing firm that she founded in 1989. She previously worked as a yacht captain, and held a USCG Captain’s license and a private pilot’s license. She is a member of the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association, the Newport County Chamber of Commerce and the International Yacht Restoration Program Advisory Committee.
She is the mother of Savanna J. Cortvriend Cavacas and the grandmother of Wilder Andrew Cavacas, and lives in Portsmouth with her partner, Charles A. Perry.