Providence city council member announces run for mayor

Providence Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune spoke at a news conference in July, 2021. File photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Providence city council member Nirva LaFortune officially announced her bid to run for Providence mayor in 2022.

When LaFortune was elected to her city council seat in 2017, she became Rhode Island’s first Haitian American to serve in an elected office. If elected as mayor, she would become Providence’s first woman and Black mayor.

On Sunday, LaFortune, a Democrat, said in a statement that her main focus during her campaign would be on issues surrounding gun violence, affordable housing and education.

She also spoke outside the Southside Cultural Center on Sunday, holding a moment of silence for the victims of gun violence in Providence this year. The city is facing one of the most deadly years in the past decade

She said to prevent the outbursts of violence in the city, Providence needs a stronger system of community policing.

Fortune joins three other Democratic candidates in the run for Providence mayor: Brett Smiley, a former aide to former Gov. Gina Raimondo; former City Council President Michael Solomon; and Gonzalo Cuervo, the former chief of staff to Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea.