Representative June S.
Speakman was first elected to represent District 68 in Warren and Bristol in
March 2019. She is the second vice chair of the Municipal Government and
Housing Committee. She serves on the House Oversight Committee and chairs its Aging and Senior Services Subcommittee. She is also a member of the House Environment and Natural
Resources Committee and the House Health and Human Services 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. Since 2021, she has been
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 two 2022 laws resulting from the commission’s work, both
aimed at making the development of
process of affordable housing more efficient.
Representative Speakman is
a strong advocate for environmental protection and climate change resiliency,
and has been pushing for laws to prevent exposure to cancer-linked
polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). She was the sponsor of the 2022 law
requiring the Department of Health to set standards
for the chemicals in drinking water and
of the 2021 law establishing the Forest
In 2022, Rep. Speakman was awarded Grow Smart
RI’s Smart Growth Leadership Award for her work on housing and the environment.
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 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 Dorchester, MA.
She is the mother of two
adult sons, Jason and Adam.