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State Sen. Sandra Cano talks about her candidacy for Congress

Raymond Baccari


The race to replace outgoing Rep. David Cicilline is underway. There are eight Democrats so far that have filed with the Federal Election Commission to run for this soon-to-be-open seat. State Sen. Sandra Cano (D-Dist. 8) is one of those candidates looking to represent Rhode Island’s First Congressional District in Congress.

“The reason why I want to represent Rhode Island is because I love to help people,” Cano said in a recent interview on Ray-ality TV. “That has been a lifelong dream for me – to be able to represent the Rhode Island community in Congress.” Cano added that this dream of hers began in 2010 when she took a leadership program in 2010 called the Latina Leadership Institute.

Cano explained that the mission of this program was “to engage Latinas in the civic process and also to make sure that we have representation at different levels,” which kick-started her passion to pursue a career in public service. Her career in public service includes being on Pawtucket’s School Committee from 2012 to 2014, serving on the City Council from 2014 to 2018 and then winning a special election for State Senate District 8 in 2018, a district she has represented since then.

“Ever since then, I’ve been very fortunate to represent the city of Pawtucket residents, but also Rhode Island as a whole,” Cano said. “I’ve been living in CD 1 all of this time and I think that I have the Democratic values and life experiences to make sure that I continue advocating and having the voice of the residents of Congressional District 1.”

Cano said if elected she would focus on education, protecting the environment, quality of life issues facing residents such as protecting the right to choose and ensuring every family in Rhode Island has the opportunity for economic growth.

A topic that falls under the economic growth priority Cano mentioned is the federal minimum wage. Currently, the federal minimum wage sits at $7.25 an hour. Cano favors increasing it to at least $15 an hour, saying, “I think right now, at least at the national level, it should be $15 an hour just like the target that we are looking [at] here in Rhode Island.”

On the issue of healthcare, Cano favors moving to a medicare for all system, and also stresses the need to protect the Affordable Care Act.

Cano also emphasized the need for a federal assault weapons ban, citing the uptick in mass shootings that have occurred throughout the United States.

“As a mom, as a legislator, I’m heartbroken that we continuously see that schools are [not a] place where children feel safe and then teachers and staff members feel threatened as well,” Cano said. “There [are] a lot of mass shootings that are happening, and that is because there is access to these weapons. Obviously, it’s a combination of a lot of things like mental health issues, and I’ve been an advocate of more investment for mental health, but it is clear in the facts that we need to act now, and parents and the students should not live the consequences of another shooting. We need to act like today.”

A policy congressional Democrats have shed light on in recent years is statehood for Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. Cano said she supports statehood for both. On the topic of banning members of Congress from trading stocks, Cano supports that policy goal as well.

Cano said she opposes term limits when asked about her stance on them, saying, “I do feel that every two years members of Congress have the opportunity to put their names in the ballot, and it’s up to the people to choose them or not.”

The full interview can be viewed on the Ray-ality TV YouTube channel by clicking here.

Voters in this district head to the polls for the election on Sep. 5 for the Democratic and Republican primaries. The general election is set for Nov. 7.


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