Politics & Elections

Casandra Inez kicks off campaign for PVD City Council Ward 15 special election

“We [our community] lack[s] the knowledge and the skills and the generational wealth to do things. I want to bring those experiences and that frustration to city council because the working class is not represented. Politicians get pretty comfortable sitting up there and making decisions… I just want to bring a real voice to city council and really represent what our needs are and hopefully get them done for you all.”
Photo for Casandra Inez kicks off campaign for PVD City Council Ward 15 special election

Published on May 5, 2021
By Steve Ahlquist

The race to fill the Ward 15 Providence City Council seat vacated by City Council President Sabina Matos when she accepted Governor Daniel McKee‘s invitation to be Lieutenant Governor of Rhode Island has kicked into high gear as five candidates, Doris De Los Santos, Iasha Hall, Casandra Inez, Santos Javier and Oscar Vargas have filed to run. Given that there are no independents or Republicans in the race, the winner of the June 8 Democratic Primary will be the only name on the July 6 general election ballot.

On Wednesday Casandra Inez held a campaign kick-off in Olneyville Square and over thirty people gathered in the rain to hear her pitch. Before talking the microphone she was described by activist and Providence school teacher Enrique Sanchez as a “working class person, a public school teacher, a mother, a person who cares about her community, an artist, [and] a family member.” Sanchez noted that “her background, her story, her upbringing in the community [as] a lifelong resident – represents the ideal candidate that we should be supporting,”

You can find out more about Casandra Inez at her website here.

“I grew up in Providence, I attended Providence schools, and I really felt let down when I attended college my first year,” said Inez. “I didn’t feel prepared at all and looking back it made me embarrassed and frustrated about my education, so it took me a while – almost ten years – to come back and be a Providence school teacher.

“I have a daughter. Me and my partner opened up an art space right over here on Manton Avenue in 2019. We had to close because of Covid. We know the struggles of a really small business trying to make it in Providence,” continued Inez. “I’m running for city council because I’m sick of the lack of representation. City council is as local as it gets…

“I chose to open my business here. Me and my partner would love to buy a home here – but those things aren’t easy, so we’re trying to ind ways to make it easy for everyone else.

“We [our community] lack[s] the knowledge and the skills and the generational wealth to do things. I want to bring those experiences and that frustration to city council because the working class is not represented. Politicians get pretty comfortable sitting up there and making decisions… I just want to bring a real voice to city council and really represent what our needs are and hopefully get them done for you all,” said Inez, concluding her remarks. “Your support means so much to me. This is a grass roots run. I don’t have the backing that others might have… but I have a lot to offer.”

Other speakers included a former student, Steven, that Inez continues to support, her father, George, and Providence Public School teacher Anna Kuperman, who was a teacher to Inez.

“It’s so important that we are growing our students to become Providence teachers who stay here. And Casandra is part of that project. The thing I love about her is that, as a young person, she was incredibly honest and she continues to be. She continues to be who she is – a real person,” said Kuperman. “I want to say that our city council right now – they basically gave our schools away. They said, ‘Here Rhode Island State, you take them, we can’t do it.’ And it is a history of racism. It’s a history of basically throwing these schools away for thirty, forty, fifty years now – And I am so excited that there’s somebody who’s going to be in that position who can speak up for the schools and the students of Providence.”

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