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 2023, the General
Assembly adopted her legislation clarifying that the area
of the shoreline that is guaranteed to the public under the state constitution begins 10 feet landward of the
recognizable high tide line. The legislation stemmed from a commission she led in
2021 and 2022 to settle the long-debated issue.
Her years-long effort
resulted in the 2022 passage of legislation prohibiting
polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in food packaging. She was also a cosponsor of the landmark 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.
The Nathan Bruno and Jason Flatt Act, which she sponsored in 2021, created requirements for suicide
awareness and prevention training for teachers and school personnel, and
established 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.
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.