As the old saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. So too, raising IndivisibleRI. Meet our volunteer villagers:
Andy Acciaioli – IndivisibleRI Founder/Executive Director
I’ve been on the business side all of my life: owned and operated Hartley Tours and Andrews Transportation followed by a business-to-business shared mail service, MaxiPaks. At my age, I should be in my backyard, planting tomatoes and watching them grow. This whole activism thing has been a new, and, yes, exhilarating experience.
I am so proud of the IndivisibleRI Team that I’m blessed to work with each day.
Kamila Barzykowski & Robert Graves, IndivisibleRI Team – Area Directors/Warwick
Kamila Barzykowski worked for 25 years as a community planner for United Way of Rhode Island. She has also taught English as a Second Language. Her political involvement includes Organizing for America and Move On.
Robert Graves became actively involved in politics in 2011, submitting petitions for Americans Elect, an online political party. Then he worked a phone bank in Warwick for Obama 2012 and did exit polling for Common Cause. In 2016 he gathered petitions for Bernie Sanders, and he is now involved with Indivisible, MoveOn and Rhode Island Progressive Democrats.
Kamila and Bob live in Warwick.
Steven & Debbie Belaus, IndivisibleRI Team – Area Directors/Narragansett
Steven and Debbie Belaus reside in Narragansett, RI. The Belaus’ moved to Rhode Island from Pennsylvania in 2012. They had never been politically active until both were both diagnosed with PTSD on November 9, 2016. As a remedy and sanity check they formed the Narragansett Chapter of Indivisible Rhode Island, starting with several home meetings with like-minded neighbors and friends, and expanding to weekly recruiting efforts at a larger venue for South County residents. Steven and Debbie have attended numerous Town Hall meetings, Resist Trump Tuesdays, and have placed daily phone calls to their elected representatives. Both feel that Indivisible has had a profound effect on disrupting the Trump agenda and both are feeling much better these days.
Sam Bell, IndivisibleRI Team – RI Political Consultant
A longtime Rhode Island Democratic activist, Sam Bell has worked on a wide array of issues and campaigns in his limited free time. A professional geophysicist, Bell was originally motivated to get involved because he was worried about an increase in anti-science policymaking. From early 2012 to early 2017 he ran the Rhode Island Progressive Democrats, a grassroots organization dedicated to advancing progressive values within the Rhode Island Democratic Party. He is known for his role leading the Progressive Democrats’ investigation into the NRA’s campaign finances, which resulted in the NRA’s Rhode Island PAC shutting down until they paid the second largest campaign finance settlement in state history. Bell has also been involved with numerous issue advocacy campaigns in Rhode Island. Most prominently, he chaired the Stop the Stadium Deal campaign, which successfully defeated the plan to move the PawSox from McCoy Stadium to the planned waterfront park in Downtown Providence. Bell has also worked on a wide array of Democratic political campaigns in Rhode Island, and he is an advocate of using the primary process to restore core Democratic values to Rhode Island. Bell is a strong supporter of the Indivisible movement. As he said on ABC6, “I’ve never seen activism like this, and I have to tell you, I’m inspired.”
Helen Conforti, IndivisibleRI Team – Area Director/Coventry
Having been born in RI but raised mostly in the suburbs of Houston, I have developed a great appreciation of my home state. After the Nov 8th election, I was determined to protect the people of Rhode Island from Trump’s hate filled agenda. I am passionate about protecting our immigrant communities. Working with Indivisible has given me the tools that I need to communicate and channel my concerns effectively.
Jenny Douglas, IndivisibleRI Team – Area Director/Westerly
I am a Charlestown resident, lifelong Rhode Islander, and I consider myself lucky to be raising my son and daughter here in a blue state. The day Donald Trump was elected president, I looked at my children and vowed I would do everything possible to oppose the Trump agenda in order to protect their rights to education, clean air and water, health care, and autonomy over their own bodies. This administration goes against every value I have tried to instill in them, and I have been teaching them that through protest, through demonstration, and through something as simple as a phone call, that change can happen. I became involved in Indivisible because I appreciate how it gives you guidance to make your voice heard. Our numbers are great, our voices are greater. We have made lasting changes in opposing the Trump agenda, and I know we will accomplish even more in the future.
Kim Kinzie, IndivisibleRI Team – Area Director/East Greenwich
I’m a Rhode Island native who swore she’d never move back to Rhode Island, yet here I am. After 18 years in Boston and 7 in San Diego, I’ve returned to my home state and am appreciating all it has to offer, especially its lean to the left…though that wasn’t always the case. Having grown up in a family of hardcore Democrats, I was told to “pull the master level.” In college I decided to rebel and tried being a Republican. This worked for a while, as I went to a business school and then law school, so was often surrounded by plenty of conservative ideals. After becoming a lawyer in 1992, I spent 4 years in the District Attorney’s office as a prosecutor. Seeing the awesome and often overreaching power of the government, as well as how rigged the system is against the poor and minorities, the pendulum swung back and I officially registered as a Democrat. The older I get, the more liberal I become. I consider myself somewhat left of Bernie Sanders, so you can imagine my grief and horror when Trump won the election. I now am dedicating whatever I time/resources I can to defeating his agenda of hate. Thanks to Indivisible, I’m not doing it in a vacuum.
Shawna Rihani, IndivisibleRI Leadership Team
Originally from Oklahoma, I have lived in Rhode Island since 1998 after moving to Providence to attend college. Since graduation I have worked in various private and public sector roles; currently in Real Estate and the export industry in Cranston. I am an adamant supporter of progressive values including universal education and healthcare and believe that Rhode Island has the unique opportunity to lead on both of these critical issues. The election of Donald Trump was a pivotal moment in my life that revealed the danger of complacency and the need for every person to advocate for their beliefs. At Indivisible, I work to help as many Rhode Islanders as possible realize their unique role and responsibility in driving political discourse and the power in every person’s voice.
Jeremy Taylor, IndivisibleRI Team – IT & Social Media Coordinator
I was born and raised in South County. I’ve been interested in politics since I was in high school where I videotaped Exeter Town Council meetings for broadcast on Public Access TV. I am an IT Professional by trade. I’ve worked in retail, security, government, broadcast, and currently the K-12 education sector. I also own a business services company. I have a young family so it’s hard to make time for meetings, but I go to events when I am able. I’m happy to help disseminate our message online and spread the word about our events and our meetings.
I am neither a Republican nor a Democrat as I usually look for the candidate that agrees with my positions but is also smart, empathetic and sincere as those are qualities I feel are best suited to public service. A good politician listens to reason. While I don’t necessarily hate Mr. Trump, I don’t like his policies, his politics, or the direction he’s dragging the country kicking and screaming. I am an advocate for justice, equality, opportunity, and strong social safety nets. I liked a lot of Bernie Sanders’ platform. When I heard about Mr. Trump’s first executive order on immigration and how it was not properly vetted prior to execution I was angry. When I saw his picks for cabinet positions like Betsy DeVos and Scott Pruitt I decided I could no longer just vote every other year, I had to make my voice heard, and so I joined Indivisible RI.
Nicole Tillery, IndivisibleRI Team – Proofreader
I just moved to Rhode Island from Indianapolis a few months ago. A friend who is involved in the Indiana chapter suggested I join Rhode Island’s Indivisible group as a way to get involved in the community and meet like-minded people. I’m grateful the group has given me a meaningful, daily way to fight against the Trump agenda. Originally from Illinois, it’s also nice to be back in a blue state and have Democratic representation in Congress!
The others must have left the village to have their pictures taken.