2022 Providence Democratic Mayoral Candidate Forum

Several RIC student organizations came together to organize a 2022 forum for Providence Mayoral Democratic candidates. These organizations included RIC Student Community Government, Inc., The Anchor Newspaper, Anchor TV, 90.7 WXIN, and the Political Science Club. This candidate forum took place on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022, from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. This candidate forum was entirely student-run and organized. The goal with this forum was 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 also promoted civic engagement and education of students on campus. More coverage of this forum can be found in both the Providence Journal and The Public's Radio.

Providence Journal article: 

https://www.providencejournal.com/story/news/local/2022/03/23/providence-mayoral-candidates-forum-police-funding-pensions-schools-issues/7140883001/

 

The Public's Radio article: 

https://thepublicsradio.org/article/providence-mayoral-candidates-outline-their-views-during-ric-forum

The Anchor's post-event coverage: https://www.anchorweb.org/post/anchor-nation-encourages-voter-participation-for-2022-midterm-elections

Here is the link to view the forum: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkifxeP4zVU

Three of the four candidates participated in the forum. These are the candidates:

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          Gonzalo Cuervo

    Photo Credit: Gonzalo Cuervo for Mayor campaign website

City Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune

      Photo Credit: Nirva LaFortune for Mayor campaign website

                Brett Smiley

              Photo Credit: Brett Smiley for Mayor campaign website

                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.