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The resignation of Representative Shelby Maldonado opens special election for House District 56 in Central Falls

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“I have enjoyed representing the city of Central Falls, a community where I have lived my entire life and the people have given me so many opportunities,” said Representative Maldonado.


Update: Candidates are starting to announce for the seat:

Joshua Giraldo currently serves as Chief of Staff to Central Falls Mayor James Diossa.


Representative Shelby Maldonado of Central Falls resigned today, effective immediately, from the House District 56 seat she has held in the Rhode Island House of Representatives since January 2015.

She is relocating to New York City to accept a position as the Hispanic Outreach Director of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). A second-year student at Roger Williams University School of Law, she intends to transfer to a New York law school.

Her resignation creates a special election to be scheduled by the Secretary of State’s office.


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“I have enjoyed representing the city of Central Falls, a community where I have lived my entire life and the people have given me so many opportunities,” said Representative Maldonado, a Democrat. “I thank my House colleagues for taking in Central Falls as part of their agenda and enabling me to be an effective legislator on behalf of the community. From our previous difficult times in receivership, the city is moving forward in a very positive direction.”

Representative Maldonado, 32, graduated from Central Falls High School and received her degree from the University of Rhode Island, majoring in political science and communication studies, in 2009. She served in the Peace Corps in Africa following her graduation, and her political career began as a member of the Central Falls City Council in 2014.

She will be leaving her current position as the director of communications for the United Association of Local 51 Plumbers and Pipefitters Union.

“I am privileged to have the opportunity to work with her in the House of Representatives,” said Speaker Nicholas Mattiello. “She is a wonderful person and a great advocate for her community and the state. It is no surprise that someone of her talent has obtained such an exciting career opportunity. I wish her much success and we will miss her.”

Representative Maldonado was named a Deputy Majority Leader in January 2019. She is the second vice chairwoman of the House Committee on Municipal Government and she is a member of the House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare, the House Committee on Small Business and the House Committee on Special Legislation.

During the 2018 session, she sponsored a law that will continue the status quo relating to drivers’ licenses to approved recipients under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. She also chaired a special commission to study the Minimum Housing Act, which made several recommendations to the General Assembly on how to help cities and towns meet the requirements found in the main law and rethinking what it means to meet the requirements of minimum housing.

She also introduced two workers’ right bills that were signed into law. The first, in 2017, created workers’ cooperatives which are owned and democratically governed by their members. In 2015, she championed civil rights legislation for women, sponsoring a law that prohibits employers from discriminating against, and failing to provide reasonable accommodations for, employees due to pregnancy or medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.

[From a press release]