Latino History of Rhode Island

A Timeline | 2000 to 2019

Census 2000: The Hispanic population grows to 90,820

October 2001, then Providence Mayor Cianci creates an Office of Hispanic Affairs in response to growing demands and improved political representation among Latinos.
November 7, 2001, Ricardo Patiño makes history in Central Falls by becoming the first Latino to be elected to serve on the City Council.
January 7, 2003, Juan Manuel Pichardo is sworn in as a state senator representing Providence, Rhode Island’s Senate District 2. He is the first Dominican American and Latino elected to the Rhode Island Senate.
November 2004, Grace Díaz is elected to the Rhode Island House of Representatives to represent District 11 in Providence. She is the first Dominican-­American Latina elected to state office in the history of the United States.
The US Census Bureau opens a Partnership Office in Providence and hires Marta V. Martínez as Latino Partnership Specialist.

A Latino Complete Count Committee is formed with Anna Cano-Morales, Doris de Los Santos and Pablo Rodríguez as Co-Chairs of the LCCC, and together they launch a comprehensive campaign to count Latinos and the hard-to-count communities in Rhode Island.

Census 2010: The Hispanic population in Rhode Island reaches 130,655

Comite de Salvadoreños en Rhode Island (COSARI) is formed by José Ignacio and Hugo Figueroa, and it becomes a non-profit organization promoting Salvadoran culture. The group is made up of individuals from Central Falls and Pawtucket.
October 2012
On November 2, 2011, 40-year-old Angel Taveras is elected as the first Latino and 37th mayor of Providence (2011 to 2015). Taveras is also the third elected and fourth serving Dominican-American mayor in the United States.
December 11, 2012, 27-year-old James A. Diossa is elected the first Latino mayor in Central Falls, former Mayor Charles D. Moreau, who resigned and has pleaded guilty to a federal corruption charge.

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