Lawmakers petition Raimondo on Hasbro

Mister Potato Head greets visitors outside Hasbro World Headquarters in Pawtucket on November 7, 2018. Photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News

By Tessa Roy, WPRO News

Pawtucket-based toy maker Hasbro could relocate its headquarters, which prompted Representatives from Pawtucket and surrounding areas to petition Governor Gina Raimondo to work on keeping it in the city.

“Hasbro is one of Rhode Island’s greatest companies, and we want to work together with you and your administration to do everything in our power to keep them in Pawtucket where they have been headquartered and have thrived for more than 80 years,” their letter reads. “Our communities need this great corporate citizen, along with the associated jobs and economic activity, in order to grow our Northern Rhode Island economy.”

The Representatives write that the Blackstone Valley area could suffer a “devastating loss” of 1,500 jobs and $60 million in earnings if Hasbro went elsewhere. They also extended an offer to meet with Raimondo and Hasbro.

Raimondo spokesperson Josh Block said the governor’s position on the issue hasn’t changed.

“Hasbro’s business model is evolving, and this is a process that will take many months. The governor will continue working with the company and with local leaders to keep Hasbro’s jobs in Rhode Island,” he said. “She would love to keep Hasbro in Pawtucket. Her top priority is keeping Hasbro’s jobs in Rhode Island.”

On whether she’ll meet with those who signed the letter, Block said “she’s going to continue engaging the Mayor [Don Grebien] and local leaders as the process moves forward.”

Those who signed the letter are: Pawtucket Representatives Raymond H. Johnston Jr. (D-Dist. 61), Carlos E. Tobon (D-Dist. 58), Jean Philippe Barros (D-Dist. 59), Karen Alzate (D-Dist. 60) and Mary Duffy Messier (D-Dist. 62), Pawtucket Senators Sandra Cano (D-Dist. 8), Donna M. Nesselbush (D-Dist. 15), Elizabeth A. Crowley (D-Dist. 16) and William J. Conley Jr. (D-Dist. 18). East Providence Representatives Katherine S. Kazarian (D-Dist. 63), Joe R. Serodio (D-Dist. 64) and Gregg Amore (D-Dist. 65) also signed along with Central Falls Representatives Shelby Maldonado (D-Dist. 56) and James McLaughlin (D-Dist. 57).

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