It has been my honor to serve the residents of Pawtucket for the past four years as the City Councilor for Ward 5 in Pawtucket. And I am committed to bringing the voices of the people of Pawtucket and North Providence to the State House.
I am running for State Senate because I believe that Pawtucket’s diversity is our strength. I believe we are a better, healthier community when we embrace everyone who wants to participate, and when we look for new ways to engage each other. I believe that our best decisions are made when we make them together.
I come from a family of hard-working and fun-loving people. My mother, Beth, taught biology in the public schools in New Hampshire where I was born, and my father, Seth, built septic systems. I grew up in a rambunctious blended family of siblings and step-siblings; I attended public high school and started waiting tables when I was fourteen.
A longtime community organizer, I originally moved to Pawtucket when I was attending graduate school. I graduated from Smith College, and I have a MA from the University of Chicago, and a PhD from Brown. I now work as a professor at UMass Boston, in the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development. I am active in union leadership at the University, and I have also taught at the RI Adult Correctional Institutions, and at Brown University.
There is nowhere in the world I would rather be than Pawtucket, and I care deeply about building a Rhode Island that is equitable, thriving, and inclusive.
I bring both policy and community organizing experience to office. In addition to serving two terms on the Pawtucket City Council, I was a fellow at the Women’s Policy Institute in Rhode Island. I am a sociologist who writes books and articles about social change. I worked for several years with children in the foster care system, as well as at Amnesty International, a well-known human rights advocacy organization. I am founder of two nonprofit organizations, and hold leadership positions on several local boards. I speak fluent Spanish.
I am co-founder of Crash Pawtucket, an organization that showcases small businesses in the city in partnership with neighborhood and community groups. I am a member of the Rhode Island State Housing Appeals Board. I also served on the Pawtucket Juvenile Hearings Board, a restorative justice program aimed at keeping children out of legal trouble.
I love people, I love Rhode Island, and I am committed to seeing us flourish. I believe that our community is stronger when we engage each other and this belief is behind everything I do: whether that’s organizing #ChalkTheBlockPawtucket for Earth Day, or starting a community garden. I jog with my dog Marvin all over town; I’ve played my trumpet with the Extraordinary Rendition Band during the Oak Hill Halloween Hootenanny and the Pawtucket St. Patrick’s Day Parade and during the Pawtucket Arts Festival; I’ve taught college in many different places, organized community dinners, and tutored kids after school. Community is the very stuff of life.
I believe that the job of an elected official is to ensure our that our community is heard. I am a passionate advocate for small business, equitable development, affordable housing, workers’ rights, environmental sustainability, racial justice, the arts, and safe and inclusive communities. We need to build an environment that encourages students to learn, families to thrive, and businesses to grow. We need to do so with energy and vision.
I promise to always be accessible. I will always be willing to listen, and transparent about my decisions.
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