En este episodio conversamos con la Vicegobernadora del estado de Rhode Island Sabina Matos. Ella nos habla de sus origines en Barahona, República Dominica, la familia y la gran oportunidad que tenemos los hispanos en los Estados Unidos.
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Sabina grew up in the city of Paraiso, in the Dominican Republic. At 20, she immigrated to the US, living with family in New York City and working in a clothing factory. Eventually, Sabina moved to Providence, where she took English language courses while working at the Swarovski jewelry plant. Her hard work paid off: in 2001 Sabina graduated with BA in Communications from Rhode Island College, and soon after started a sales job at a Spanish-language radio station.
“When I came to Rhode Island as a 20-year-old immigrant from the Dominican Republic, I never thought I would run for public office, much less serve as Lieutenant Governor. But in America, anything is possible. Now I’m working to fix systemic injustices and make sure everyone has the same opportunities I did.”
In 2006, Sabina ran against a 24-year incumbent for a seat on the Providence City Council. She lost but ran again in 2010 and won the election. During her campaign, Sabina remembers being asked why a single mother with a baby would run for office. Her response: “Why not?”
Sabina served 10 years on the Council, championing an equity agenda. Her initiatives took direct aim at the barriers facing Providence households: the creation of an affordable housing trust fund, expanding access to healthy food, and ensuring loopholes, like one letting landlords pay lower property taxes than new homeowners, closed for good.
In 2019, Sabina broke the glass ceiling by becoming the first Latina to serve as President of the Providence City Council. In 2021, then-Council President Matos was appointed to serve as Lt. Governor of Rhode Island, becoming the first Black and Latina person and second woman to hold the office in state history.
Sabina met her husband Patrick in 2006. They live in Olneyville with their two children.