By DANIEL KITTREDGE As the candidacy declaration period draws nearer, the field of hopefuls for seats on the City Council in the coming term continues to grow. Ward 3 Councilman John Donegan on Tuesday announced he will seek reelection, while Aniece
As the candidacy declaration period draws nearer, the field of hopefuls for seats on the City Council in the coming term continues to grow.
Ward 3 Councilman John Donegan on Tuesday announced he will seek reelection, while Aniece German on Monday became the first announced candidate for the Ward 2 seat being vacated by Paul McAuley.
“I’m proud of the work we’ve accomplished during my first term, and I look forward to continuing my service to our Ward, and the City of Cranston, in a second term,” Donegan, who is in his first term, said in a statement. “These are challenging times, but now more than ever we need elected officials who will show up for their constituents. I’m running for re-election because I believe we need to find compassionate solutions to the issues we face so that we may realize a just and equitable Cranston for everyone.”
Germain, who came to Rhode Island from Haiti more than a decade ago, said in a statement that she is a “community advocate running to ensure equitable education, inclusive government, and safe, clean neighborhoods.”
“I have lived on both sides of Cranston – West and East. My three children attend Cranston public schools,” Germain said. “I have witnessed firsthand the devastating impact of educational inequities in our schools, especially for students with disabilities. I care deeply about improving quality and access to health care, gun safety, reproductive justice, affordable housing, income inequality, and mitigating climate change. Above all, my campaign is focused on improving our school culture and raising the bar for all of our students across the city.”
Donegan seeks ‘compassionate solutions’
Donegan, who turns 30 this month, is the youngest current member of the City Council and was one of the youngest elected in many years when he won the Ward 3 seat in 2018. A lifelong resident of the city, he lives in the Stadium neighborhood with his wife, Laura, and is employed as a claims negotiator with an insurance company.
His campaign announcement points to a range of accomplishments during his first term and his record as a “responsive, thoughtful policy-maker willing to work in a bipartisan manner.”
He specifically highlights several successful ordinances he has sponsored before the council, including measures to strengthen rodent control in neighborhoods, provide relief for taxpayers through a waiver on fees and penalties due to the pandemic, institute a ban on single-use plastic bags for retail checkout and increase the minimum wage for city workers.
“He has also helped secure additional funding in the budget for the schools and secured additional funding for the rental assistance program; which helps low-income residents, and those facing domestic violence, or an emergency, avoid homeless,” Donegan’s statement reads. “He is currently working to place a $5M bond proposal on the ballot to the voters this November to finance projects to improve the City's green infrastructure, address energy consumption, and combat climate change.”
The councilman also highlights his monthly community meetings, his work to organize a holiday tree lighting for the ward, his partnership with Citywide Councilman Steve Stycos to establish a community garden at Arlington Elementary School and his ongoing effort to bring a “splash pad” to Ward 3.
Donegan’s statement includes words of support from Cranston Democratic City Committee Chairman Michael J. Sepe and Ward 1 Councilwoman Lammis Vargas.
“Councilmember Donegan has worked tirelessly for the residents of Ward 3 and will continue to serve them well,” Sepe said in the statement. “John’s professionalism, thorough approach, and hopeful attitude are qualities we need from more of our elected officials. He understands the difficulties that many Cranston residents face, and he always stands up for them.”
“Councilmember Donegan is all hands on deck on a wide range of issues that impact our city from the protection of our environment and quality public education to being a proponent of diversifying our city employment and advocating for every family in our city,” Vargas said in the release. “Clearly, he has the drive and passion needed, and with John on the City Council the residents and business owners of Cranston will continue to be in great hands.”
Germain seeks to be ‘voice for parents and families’
Germain, 43, has lived in Cranston with her husband, Dr. Norly Germain, and their three children since 2009, when the family fled violence in Haiti.
She is the co-founder and assistant executive director of Hope and Change for Haiti, a nonprofit organization focused on community development and advocacy. She has additionally served on the board of several community groups, including the NAACP Providence Branch, the RI National Organization for Women, the African Alliance of Rhode Island and the Cranston Action Network.
She is pursuing a master’s degree in educational leadership and policy from Boston College, and last year, she was a candidate for appointment to the Ward 2 School Committee seat vacated by Stephanie Culhane.
“I am committed to ensuring every child has the same access to a quality, safe, and rigorous education that prepares them for success in life after school, regardless of where they live in the city,” Germain said in her announcement. “I want to bring my perspective as a mother, immigrant, and someone who cares deeply about our community to the Cranston City Council and work collaboratively to end the systemic inequalities in our schools. I am running, not only for my three children, but for your children too. I am committed to being the voice for parents and families who are suffering in silence and feel unrepresented.”
She added: “Too many Cranston residents are strangers in their own city because of their economic status, religion, gender, and race. We live in a wonderfully diverse community and unfortunately, many people are being left out of the decision-making process. I am running to give them a voice in our government. We should welcome a diversity of perspectives and opinions as an asset, and leverage these differences to make our city one that brings everyone together, and supports people to prosper.”
Germain’s statement, too, includes several messages of support, including from Vargas.
“I can’t think of a better candidate to represent the residents of Ward 2 than Aniece Germain, who is not only a mother of three children in our Cranston school system, but also has been a local and statewide advocate for our children, gun safety in our schools, women’s rights, the immigrant community, and the protection of our environment,” Vargas said in the statement. “She is a hard working woman who is always ensuring we all have a seat at the table, and will be an asset to the Cranston City Council where diversity is much needed, now more than ever."