Representative Joseph S. Almeida
Member, House Committee on Judiciary
Joseph S. Almeida (D) served in the House from 1999 to 2010 and was elected again in November 2012 to represent the people of District 12 in the South Side and Washington Park in Providence. He is a member of the House Committee on Judiciary.
Representative Almeida is a La Salle Academy graduate. He spent six years with the Marines and attended Roger Williams College (now University).
For 20 years, he served in the Providence Police Department, where he received numerous awards and co-founded the Rhode Island Minority Police Association. He was a hostage negotiator and the first black member of Providence’s SWAT team. He retired from the police department and the bar he owned for more than 20 years, and is now the owner of Essence Construction.
In the past, Representative Almeida served as chairman of the Rhode Island Minority Leadership/Legislative Caucus, vice chairman of the House Labor Committee, secretary of the Separation of Powers Committee, and served on the Finance Committee, the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, the Committee on Highway Safety and the Martin Luther King Day Commission. He has also been a deputy majority leader. He helped form the House Police and Firefighters Caucus to focus on the training and issues of first responders.
Representative Almeida is a strong voice for minorities, low-income families, civil rights, fair housing, neighborhoods and small businesses. In 2019, he was a cosponsor of bills that cut red tape for minority businesses seeking to be certified as minority business enterprises in Rhode Island, eliminated costly and needless licensing requirements for natural hair braiders and provided a petition process to allow state benefits for veterans discharged solely because of their sexual orientation or gender expression.
He was the sponsor of the successful “Driving While Black” legislation, which required a study of racial profiling by Rhode Island’s police departments, and in 2015 sponsored the Comprehensive Community–Police Relationship Act, which required police departments to report on actions taken to address traffic stop racial disparities and banned consent searches of juveniles. He also sponsored pivotal legislation to overhaul Rhode Island’s laws on lead paint to protect children. He was the sponsor of the successful ballot question that restored voting rights to people on probation or parole for a felony conviction.
The father of five adult children, he resides in Washington Park with his wife, Zoraida.
299 California Avenue
Providence, RI 02905