RI News
4:15 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Lawmakers Honor Teen Who Helped State Ratify The 17th Amendment

A Cumberland teenager received honors at the Statehouse Thursday for his work to get Rhode Island to ratify the 17th amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  The amendment allows direct election of U.S. Senators, previously selected by state legislatures. Rhode Island never ratified the amendment when passed in 1912.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello honors Cumberland teen Sam Ackerman, for pushing Rhode Island to ratify the 17th amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello honors Cumberland teen Sam Ackerman, for pushing Rhode Island to ratify the 17th amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Credit John Bender / RIPR

17 year old Samuel Ackerman began spearheading efforts pushing legislation to ratify the amendment last year.  It passed this session.

“To be able to say that I helped Rhode Island fix a small historical mistake is something that I’ll always remember personally, and something that I think is great for the state to represent this urge to try to reform the system we have," said Ackerman.

Ackerman worked as a Statehouse page, while working to get the legislation passed.  He’s headed to college this fall, where he plans to study political science. Ackerman’s mother is Cumberland representative Mia Ackerman.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic?  Please email us, we'd like to hear from you. news@ripr.org