Camille F.J. Vella-Wilkinson (D) represents District 21 in Warwick. She was first elected in November 2016. She is the chair of the House Conduct Committee and the second vice chair of the House Rules Committee. Representative Vella-Wilkinson is a member of the House Finance Committee and chairs its General Government Subcommittee. She is also a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the House Veterans' Affairs Committee.
the 2021 legislative session, she sponsored a new law that extends property
tax exemptions to veterans who served in uniform during
the Cold War, between 1947 through 1991, even if they did not serve in a
declared war or conflict. She also sponsored a law to permit Alcoholics
Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous to
hold meetings during a declared disaster emergency.
2020, she sponsored legislation that created the Ocean
State Climate Adaptation and Resilience Fund, which enables cities,
towns and the state to apply for grants to fund projects that restore and improve
the climate resilience of vulnerable coastal habitats, as well as river and
stream floodplains with priority to projects that improve community resilience
and public safety.
2019, she sponsored a law that extends
veterans’ benefits to gay or transgender members of the armed forces
who failed to receive honorable discharges.
the 2018 session, she introduced two
veterans-related bills that have been signed into law. The first
directs the Department of Education to utilize the federal Troops to Teachers
program, and further provides that the implementation of the program would be
contingent on federal funding. The second measure, the Military Property Tax Exemption
bill, eliminates the requirement for a veteran to have achieved a Campaign
Ribbon or Expeditionary Medal to qualify for state veterans benefits.
in 2018, Rep. Vella-Wilkinson graduated from the Eastern Leadership Academy, a fellowship
program designed to enhance the leadership abilities of state officials from
all three branches of government. The fellowship took place at the University
of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
2017 she began an annual veterans’ outreach program at the State House,
affording veterans the opportunity to meet their legislators and learn of the
various programs available to them. For her efforts, the Rhode Island Veterans
of Foreign Wars presented her with its 2018 Legislative Award.
being elected state representative, Vella-Wilkinson served three terms on the
Warwick City Council, from 2011 to 2016, with two terms as finance chairwoman.
She was state commissioner on the Rhode Island Commission for Human Relations
from 1999 to 2016. She has also served as the City of Warwick veterans liaison
from 2011 to 2016.
2016, she was honored with the Legislator of the Year award from the Disabled
American Veterans, the YMCA Woman of Achievement award and the American Legion
Post 43 Auxiliary Female Veteran of the Year award.
is an alumna of the URI Schmidt Labor Research Center and Leadership Rhode
Island (2006), a member of American Legion Post 43, Military Officers
Association of America and St. Benedict’s Daughters of Isabella Circle 423.
A retired Navy officer, she is self-employed as a work-readiness coach. She graduated from St. Edmund High School in Brooklyn in 1974. She received a bachelor's degree in English and psychology from Long Island University in 1979. She received her master's degree in labor relations from the University of Rhode Island and juris doctorate degree from Roger Williams University in 2006.
is married to Kenneth and they have one child, Ian. Her website is vellawilkinson.com.