Published 10/15/15

Annual ethics event features political reform advocate Phil West

Phil West headshotPhil West, whom the Providence Journal once dubbed “the godfather of political reform in Rhode Island,” will be the guest speaker at a forum on “Getting the Government We Deserve” at Bryant University at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 28th .  The session is free and open to the public.

As executive director of Common Cause RI for 18 years, West was at the center of citizen agitation for the reform of Rhode Island politics and government. Author of the recently published Secrets and Scandals: Reforming Rhode Island 1986-2006, West will share his story with fascinating inside accounts of the struggles he and others waged for political reform. He will touch on issues such as “pay-to-play” schemes; political conflicts of interest; appointments of “friends” to the judiciary, boards, commissions, and administrative offices; and separation of powers in Rhode Island governance.

The Ronald K. and Kati C. Machtley Interfaith Center’s fifth annual ethics event also features a distinguished panel that includes:

  • former Rhode Island Auditor General Ernest Almonte ´78, ´85 MST, ´09H;
  • former Bryant Trustee and Chairman of the Executive Committee of Hasbro, Inc., the Rhode Island-based multibillion-dollar international toy company, Alan Hassenfeld ‘85H;
  • former Rhode Island Attorney General Arlene Violet;
  • former U.S. Congressman and Rhode Island Lieutenant Governor Robert Weygand.

Learn more about the event and the panelists here.

West and the panel members will discuss their involvement in struggles for political reform in the Ocean State, values that compelled them to step up to these struggles, and the necessity for citizens to demand clean and open government to maintain healthy democracies.

For more information about the event, contact John Nesbitt, Program Coordinator of the Machtley Interfaith Center, at (401) 232-6119 or