FROM THE DESK OF
381 Potters ave, Providence, ri
September 12, 2011
My name is Carmen Castillo. I am a single mother, a housekeeper at the Westin Hotel in Downtown Providence, and I am running to represent our community as the next City Councilor for Ward 9.
Honestly, I never thought that I would be running for office. I came to Providence from the Dominican Republic almost 20 years ago, and I have strived to follow the example that my parents set for me: to work hard and provide a better future for my family.
For more than 15 years, I have cleaned rooms at the Westin Hotel, and I scrimped and saved in order to buy the house on Potters Ave. where I now live. Being a housekeeper isn’t a glamorous job, but I wanted to be sure that my three daughters - Angela, Carla and Isaeme – had opportunities that I never had, and that they understood the importance of hard work and education.
I am proud to say that my daughters all graduated from the Providence Public Schools. Angela graduated from the Year-Up program, Carla is finishing up the Year Up and a joint program with CCRI, RIC and URI, and Isaeme just started her freshman year with a scholarship at URI.
From personal experience, I know that to live and raise a family successfully in our neighborhood, we need three things: good jobs, good city services and good schools. I have worked hard to bring these three things to our community – and as the City Councilor for Ward 9, I will continue to fight for these priorities.
Good Jobs: For too many of our neighbors, the American Dream is out of reach. We need to fight for good jobs to enable a real and vibrant working class. This is why I am fighting to enforce the Providence First Source Ordinance, to make sure that when our tax dollars are used to build projects like the Providence Renaissance, we create living wage jobs that go to people in our neighborhood instead of people from out of town. As Councilwoman I will personally fight to make sure that the big corporations that make money off our neighborhood give back good jobs in return.
Good City Services: Our neighborhood is full of historic architecture and beautiful old trees. If we take good care of these gifts, anyone would want to buy a house here. I fought hard several years ago to win “rodent-proof” trash cans to keep vermin off our streets. Now I want to make sure that mattresses and other garbage are removed from our streets so we can let the beauty here shine through.
Good Schools: I believe that schools are like every other branch of government – they work best when the citizens are involved in the decisions that are made. I organized the PTO at my daughters middle school and fought to stop the closure of FeinsteinHigh School. My niece, Aliyah, who I am helping to raise, is now in first grade. I will continue to fight so that Aliyah and all the children and grandchildren in our neighborhood have access to quality education.
As you can probably tell, I’m not really a politician. I’m a parent who is concerned about our city and our state’s future. I’m a neighbor who wants to ensure that our community continues to be a great place to raise a family. And I’m an advocate who wants more Rhode Islanders to have access to good jobs and good schools.
I am grateful for the opportunities that I found for myself and my family in Providence, and I would like the chance to stand up and be a voice for all of our community by serving as your next City Councilor.
I respectfully ask for your vote in the Democratic Primary on Tuesday, October 25.
PS – I hope to meet you as I go door-to-door around the neighborhood. Feel free to call me at (401) 226-4678, or to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org