Representative June S. Speakman was elected to represent District 68 in
Warren and Bristol in a special election in March 2019 and won reelection in
November 2020. She is the second vice chair of the Municipal Government and
Housing Committee and is a member of the House Environment and Natural Resources
Committee, the House Health and Human Services Committee and the House Oversight
Committee. Representative Speakman is also a delegate to the New England Board
of Higher Education.
In 2021, she championed an
amendment to the state budget to establish Rhode Island’s first permanent
funding stream for affordable housing,
which will make an estimated $4 million available annually to help address the
state’s critical shortage of affordable housing. She also is leading a special
legislative commission, created through legislation she sponsored, to study
the Rhode Island Low and Moderate Income Housing Act. She was the sponsor of a new law ensuring that nursing
home residents can be visited by certain
family members or caregivers during a state of emergency, and a law creating a forest
conservation commission to seek new
funding and identify incentives for landowners to maintain their land as
She has been pushing for
laws to prevent exposure to cancer-linked polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)
in drinking water and consumer products, and
is a strong advocate for environmental protection and climate change
A resident of Warren,
Representative Speakman was a member of the Planning Board prior to her
election to the House. Before moving to Warren, she lived in Barrington, where
she served on the Barrington Town Council from 2002 through 2016, and was its
president for the final eight of those years. She has served on the executive
committees of Barrington Democratic Town Committee, the Warren Democratic Town
Committee and the Rhode Island Democratic Party Women’s Caucus. She was elected
as an Obama delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention and served on
the Rhode Island Democratic Party Platform Committee in 2016.
She has long been
interested in housing policy and is a member of the advisory board for HousingWorks
RI, having also served on the State Housing Appeals Board from 2010 to 2016.
She is a member of the board of the Washington Internship Institute.
Having previously taught at
Rutgers University and the Claremont Colleges, in 1995 Representative Speakman
joined the faculty of the Department of Politics and International Relations at
Roger Williams University, where she teaches American politics, state and local
government and public policy. She has served in numerous leadership positions
at the university, including department chair, Faculty Senate president and
president of the RWU Faculty Association (NEARI).
holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Massachusetts, Amherst; a master’s
degree in economics from the New School for Social Research and a Ph.D. in
political science from City University of New York. Born in Boston on January
21, 1954, she, her two brothers and her sister
grew up in West Roxbury, MA. She graduated from Girls’ Latin School in
A resident of Warren, she is the mother of two adult sons, Jason and Adam.