We urge our readers to vote for DAVID CICILLINE for Congress.
→ For Providence mayor, we endorse Democrat ANGEL TAVERAS. One of three children of Dominican immigrants, he was raised by his mother after his parents divorced, attending Classical High School, Harvard University, and Georgetown Law School. He is now a lawyer in private practice.
Taveras’s “Head Start-to-Harvard” journey has made for a good stump story. But it also positions him well to understand the struggles of a city plagued by deep pockets of poverty, unemploy-ment, and foreclosure.
Taveras is only 40. But he has proven to be a skilled street-level operator — securing important centers of support on the well-to-do, vote-rich East Side as well as on the impoverished South Side. And he has projected a reassuring sense of mission; his urban vision is substantive and well-articulated.
His education plan calls for better supported and more accountable schools, with a rigorous evaluation system for teachers who can make or break a child’s education.
On economic development, he hits the right notes: pushing for high-tech jobs while preserving an industrial waterfront. He is strong on the environment and public transit.
Taveras, who would be the first Latino mayor of an increasingly Latino city, also has the values and temperament to continue what is best about outgoing Mayor David Cicilline’s administra-tion: an ethical and inclusive approach to governance.
His most intriguing opponent in the Democratic primary, State Representative Steven Costantino, has much to recommend his candidacy. He is intelligent, energetic, and deeply committed to the city. The outgoing chairman of the powerful House Finance Committee, he also claims Smith Hill ties that could prove useful for the city were he elected mayor.
Those ties and the state’s fiscal woes have made Costantino an easy target on the campaign trail. And some of the criticism is deserved. Some is not. Costantino has, in many cases, made the best of a difficult situation. And his experience with budgets and political negotiation is no small asset.
But Taveras is the man for the moment. He is smart. He is ready. His election could usher in a generation of change.
→ For attorney general, we endorse Democrat JOSEPH FERNANDEZ. The son of Filipino immigrants, Fernandez grew up in Pennsylvania
where he attended Catholic school and served as an altar boy. He worked nights to help pay his way at Brown University and went on to Harvard Law School.
Fernandez worked as a litigator in New York for six years and a lawyer in private practice in Rhode Island for five years before taking a job as city solicitor in Providence Mayor David Cicilline’s administration.
There, he worked to push corrupt officials off the public pension rolls and helped craft a city ordinance that requires banks to negotiate with homeowners over delinquent mortgages before moving ahead with foreclosure. In the run-up to the 2008 presidential election, he co-chaired the Rhode Island presidential campaign of his law school classmate Barack Obama.
It is a promising resume. But it is Fernandez’s intelligence, drive, and broad vision for the office that make him the best choice for the job.