2022 Providence Democratic Mayoral Candidate Forum
Several RIC student organizations have come together to organize a 2022 forum for Providence Mayoral Democratic candidates. The organizations include RIC Student Community Government, Inc., The Anchor Newspaper, Anchor TV, 90.7 WXIN, and the Political Science Club. This candidate forum will be held on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022, from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. This candidate forum is entirely student-run and organized. The goal with this forum is to give those in the RIC community an opportunity to hear the vision of the candidates for Mayor of Providence, Rhode Island's capital city. This forum is also to promote civic engagement and education of students on campus. The forum will be live-streamed on a number of Anchor TV's social media platforms. All the questions and topics will be provided by the students, with some coming from the Political Science Club and others from those in the RIC community via a Google Form. All COVID-19 guidelines will be followed to ensure this is the safest event possible.
All four of the candidates running for Mayor in the Democratic Primary are confirmed to attend this event. These are the candidates:
Photo Credit: Gonzalo Cuervo for Mayor campaign website
City Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune
Photo Credit: Nirva LaFortune for Mayor campaign website
Photo Credit: Brett Smiley for Mayor campaign website
Photo Credit: GoLocalProv
Biography of the candidates
Gonzalo Cuervo - Gonzalo Cuervo was born and raised in Providence. As a teenager, Cuervo was a community organizer on the South Side of the city. Cuervo was recently Deputy Secretary of State under current Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea. Prior to that, he served in a number of roles in city government being then-Mayor Angel Taveras' Chief of Staff and in a variety of roles in Former Mayor David Cicilline's administration. This will be the second time Cuervo is on a ballot in an election in Providence with his first being when he ran in the 2010 City Council Ward 9 Democratic Primary.
City Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune - Councilwoman LaFortune currently represents Providence City Council Ward 3 after winning a Special Election in 2017. Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, LaFortune migrated to Providence at the age of three and was raised in the Southside and later Washington Park neighborhoods, where her parents still live. This will be LaFortune's third election on a ballot in Providence with the 2017 Ward 3 Special Election being her first and her re-election for a full term in 2018 being her second election.
Brett Smiley - Growing up in Illinois and moving to Providence later on in his life, Smiley served in a number of roles in both state and city government. Smiley was selected by Mayor Jorge Elorza to be Providence's Chief Operating Officer. After his time in that position, Smiley then served as then-Governor Gina Raimondo's Chief of Staff and Director of Administration. This will be Smiley's second time on a ballot in Providence and second Mayoral campaign with his first being in the 2014 Providence Mayoral Democratic Primary.
Michael Solomon - Michael Solomon operates the restaurant Wes' Rib House located in Olneyville. Solomon served on the City Council representing Ward 5 from 2007 to 2014 and as Council President from 2011 to 2014. Solomon served as Providence's Director of Business and Development from 2018 to 2021. This will be Solomon's second time on a ballot in Providence and second Mayoral campaign with his first also being in the 2014 Providence Mayoral Democratic Primary.
Additional information will be added as the event date gets closer. We look forward to providing the RIC community a chance to hear the vision of the candidates running to be Providence's next Mayor.