Meet Carlene

“Justice For All”

Like many families in Central Falls, my parents migrated to the United States in the 1980s from the Cape Verde Islands in search of a better life. My mother, a factory worker, often working double shifts to make ends meet, instilled in us at an early age the importance of education and giving back to the community no matter how little or how much you had. As a new mother of a baby named Reyna, I am committed to ensuring she, alongside, all of our youth in Central Falls have more opportunities in our City.

That’s why I worked hard to graduate at the top of my class from Central Falls High School as a proud Warrior.  I went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Government from my dream school, Georgetown University in Washington, DC and earn a master’s degree in Criminology from the George Washington University.  

After graduation in 2011, I wanted to give back to the community and help developing countries in need. I went to work at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as the Confidential Assistant to the White House Liaison and Program Specialist. Although, I had a great life in Washington, DC, something was missing. I yearned for my community in Central Falls. I decided to move back to the city to give back to the community and inspire the next generation of leaders to invest in their communities. We need strong, new voices to demand economic development, stronger schools, and an honest and transparent government. 

That’s why in my first years on the City Council I got to work!

  • I sponsored and passed the Criminal Justice Reform Ordinance to rewrite and modernize the city’s criminal code, extending the constitutional right to a lawyer to everyone in Central Falls. 
  • I advocated and passed the first ever City Council Rules, advocated for live streaming of City Council meetings, & passed legislation increasing the number of days the public has to review agendas.
  • I successfully passed the Small Business Growth Act of 2015 and several Tobacco ordinances, which tightened up the city tobacco laws to ban flavored tobacco, limited the number of tobacco shops in the CF, limited stores opening up near schools, instituted police compliance checks for underage buys, and successfully raise the tobacco age to 21.
  • I created the Annual Central Falls Job Fair and to date have hosted 5 Job Fairs in conjunction with the state’s Department of Labor attracting on average 150 attendees and 45 employers.
  • I have fought for increased youth opportunities working closely with the Mayor’s staff on reviving the City Internship program, sponsoring a youth girl’s basketball team, hosting the first women’s summer basketball league, & chairing the Commission to Reopen the Ralph J. Holden Community Center
  • I’ve hosted and supported home ownership classes alongside Central Falls Pawtucket Development.

Running for City Council is my way of giving back to you and the people of Central Falls. It was this community that helped me become a passionate, courageous, and grounded woman. It was the after school programming and services that helped me succeed. It was the Upward Bound College Prep Program that helped me to academically succeed. The Ralph J. Holden Center on Cowden Street gave me a place to interact, socialize and grow with my friends and through the Anti-Tobacco program where I volunteered 100 hours junior year. The Central Falls Library is where I could take out books for the first AP History class at CFHS in 2007 that kept my classmates and I on a straight path to college. Since the fifth grade, Sacred Heart Park and Higginson Park is where I spent summers playing basketball for the Summer Basketball League and learning important leadership skills.  

It was my Central Falls teachers, my neighbors, the owners at the corner markets on Dexter St, the police officer who worked at my school, the dedicated parents who looked after all the kids, and the seniors walking on my street who taught me that together, as a community, we can make Central Falls a better place. 

This is why I’m running to serve Central Falls and I need YOU to do this work together! I humbly ask for your vote for City Council At-Large on Tuesday, November 3, 2020!