By DANIEL KITTREDGE Maria Bucci, a former Ward 4 member of the Cranston City Council, has announced her candidacy for mayor. "e;Being Mayor is about listening, bringing people together and creating solutions,"e; Bucci, a Democrat, said in a Tuesday press
Maria Bucci, a former Ward 4 member of the Cranston City Council, has announced her candidacy for mayor.
“Being Mayor is about listening, bringing people together and creating solutions,” Bucci, a Democrat, said in a Tuesday press release announcing her bid. “The businesses that are our economic engine have shut down, justified protests are in our streets, and families are struggling to educate and care for their children while working. I know that our best days are ahead of us, and getting there is going to require hard conversations, listening, and working together. These last few months have been difficult for all of us. I’m running because we need solutions to tough problems and we have to work together to be successful.”
Bucci, 45, was first elected to Ward 4 seat on the council in 2004 before winning a second term in 2006. She did not seek reelection in 2008, but in 2012 she was appointed to fill the remainder of the term vacated by Robert Pelletier.
According to Bucci’s announcement, she is currently on leave from her position as director of patient services at the Thomas C. Slater Compassion Center. She has lived in Cranston most of her life, and she and her husband, Gus, have two children who attended the city’s public schools.
Bucci’s entry into the race to succeed Mayor Allan Fung – who is leaving office in January due to term limits – sets up a likely Democratic primary contest with Citywide Councilman Steve Stycos. A primary also appears imminent on the Republican side, with Council President Michael Farina and Citywide Councilman Ken Hopkins both having declared their candidacy. The official candidacy three-day declaration period arrives from June 22-24, and the deadline to submit nomination papers is July 10.
Bucci’s release describes her as an “active member of the small business community in Cranston.” On her website, she attributes her political involvement to the 1998 mayoral campaign of her grandfather, Joseph Maraia, which “showed me the power of community.”
Bucci’s website lists a number of key issues for the candidate, including addressing the COVID-19 crisis; reopening the state’s economy and supporting small businesses; reducing the city’s carbon footprint and mitigating the effects of sea level rise; investing in infrastructure improvements and a “complete streets” approach; and helping ensure senior citizens have access to support services.
The site also cites Bucci’s support for the $147 million Cranston Public Schools facilities bond, the $5 million climate change bond proposal and the Black Lives Matter movement.
On the site, she additionally points to her experience at the Slater Compassion Center, saying: “While serving our patients, we have also created jobs for over 130 people. Being a part of this groundbreaking industry from the beginning has taught me how a new business can anchor a community. I also know the challenges businesses face here in Cranston and across Rhode Island. Times are more uncertain than ever.”
Bucci added, in her campaign announcement: “When I began putting my campaign together the world was a different place. We need to create lasting community relationships on which we can build a more just and equitable society that reflects our values. Cranston’s people are resilient and I know that working together we can keep our city strong and affordable for all. I am looking forward to listening to Cranstons residents. We have a lot of hard work ahead of us, and I know that, together, we will succeed.”