Our History

Common Cause was founded in August 1970 by John Gardner, a Republican who had come to Washington, DC to work for Democratic President Lyndon Johnson.  The Rhode Island chapter of Common Cause was founded in 1970 by Rhode Island businessperson Natalie C. Joslin.  She was its first president, served as president again in the 1990s, and continues to actively assist the organization to this day.

Our Mission

Common Cause of Rhode Island is a nonpartisan organization whose mission is to promote representative democracy by ensuring open, ethical, accountable, effective government processes at local, state and national levels by educating and mobilizing the citizens of Rhode Island.

Our Organization

Common Cause is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization.  It achieves its goals through the hard work of a national office of staff and volunteers in Washington DC, as well as state organizations located across the nation and thousands of members and supporters.  Common Cause of Rhode Island is a state office of the national organization, and its Board selects and focuses on its own issue agenda to promote open, ethical, accountable government here in Rhode Island.

State Governing Board

Edward Fitzpatrick, President
Jill DeCoursey, Treasurer
Ford Sayre, Secretary

Tony Adams, Eric Anderson, Alan Flink, Kevin Flynn, Brian Heller, Brian McGuirk, Colin Murphy, Adam Myers, Ellen O’Hara, David Pellegrino, Cathy Saunders, Santiago Posas, Barbara Sokoloff, Jed Thorp, Peter Wilbur

State Advisory Board

Vacant, Chair

Susan Belles, David A. Brown, Joseph L. Dowling, Thomas Ewens, Fred J. Franklin, Patricia Fuller, Sheila Hughes, Natalie Joslin, Jim Miller, Kenneth Newman, Nancy Rhodes, Bruce Ruttenberg, Daniel Siegel, Richard Silverman, Charles Sturtevant, Rob Walker, Richard Worrell

John Gardner Fellows

Alan Hassenfeld, Natalie C. Joslin, James C. Miller, John Sapinsley (1922-2012), Lila Sapinsley (1922-2014), Henry D. Sharpe, Jr.


John Marion, Executive Director
Christina Morra, Assistant Director

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