Representative Edith H. Ajello
Member, House Judiciary Committee
Member, House Oversight Committee
Member, House State Government and Elections Committee
Edith H. Ajello (D) has served the residents of the East Side of Providence since first being elected in November 1992. She represents the constituents of District 1, which was District 3 before the redistricting process that took effect in 2013. Representative Ajello is a member of the House Judiciary Committee, the House Oversight Committee and the House State Government and Elections Committee.
Representative Ajello has been a strong proponent of protecting individuals’ privacy and human rights. She was instrumental in the 2019 passage of the Reproductive Privacy Act, which protects existing reproductive rights set forth under the landmark Roe v. Wade case from infringement at the federal level. She also sponsored legislation, later included in the 2020 state budget bill, to exempt feminine hygiene products from the state sales tax.
She was the cosponsor of the first-in-the-nation Homeless Bill of Rights, and also sponsored the bills that added gender identity to the state’s hate crimes law and banned “conversion therapy” on minors. She has sponsored or cosponsored laws protecting citizens’ privacy by requiring law enforcement officers to obtain warrants for location data from cellular phones and other electronic devices, banning employers and schools from demanding access or passwords to the social media accounts of applicants and reducing racial profiling and warrantless searches of minors. She was the sponsor of the law ensuring that any voter who is line to vote at the time polls close is allowed to cast his or her vote, and the law requiring post-election audits to ensure voting equipment functioned properly.
During her tenure as chairwoman of the Judiciary Committee, Rhode Island enacted a marriage equality law, made major revisions to the Access to Public Records Act, required “Super PACs” to disclose their major donors, and made possession of a small amount of marijuana a civil offense rather than a crime.
In addition to her duties as a legislator, Representative Ajello also serves on the Board of Directors for the Women’s Health and Education Fund. She has a long history of service with various organizations, including the Coalition to Preserve Choice. For her legislative efforts regarding civil liberties, Representative Ajello was awarded the RI Affiliate of the ACLU’s Raymond J. Pettine Civil Libertarian of the Year in 2006.
A certified Oriental rug appraiser, she works at V. George Rustigian Rugs in Providence.
Representative Ajello was born on April 26, 1944. She is the mother of Linell and Aaron Ajello.
29 Benefit Street
Providence, RI 02904