Meet John Goncalves
Educator and Community Leader.
Lifelong Rhode Island resident.
Born and raised in RI-01.
Councilman Goncalves has been a resident of Providence as a Fox Point and East Side community member for over 25 years. John is a passionate educator and DEI Coordinator at the Wheeler School in Providence and a community advocate who has worked to advance issues on education, environmental justice, and neighborhood quality of life.
Now, John is running for Congress in the 2023 Special Election for Rhode Island's First Congressional District to continue his advocacy for the Ocean State's working families in Washington.
As the son of an immigrant mother, I understand better than anyone else in this field the struggles of working families in Rhode Island.
"With rising inflation, it's getting harder every single day for Rhode Islanders to get by. My goal is to go to DC, and fight for those people and advocate for them every single day.
And ultimately, every single day, I wake up at the crack of dawn, to serve students, to serve families, to serve my community...I was raised in Providence, I was raised in CD-1.
So I think I'm the right person to lead during this time."
I'm also a teacher. That's what differentiates me from the rest of the people on this stage.
"This work is not theoretical for me.
I grew up in poverty, to a single parent mother in the city of Providence, and being a person of color, my lived experience is exactly why I'm in this fight. There are so many people who need folks like me to be a part of these fights."
We need strong leaders in Washington who aren't just going to use all the talking points that sound good, but people who have dealt with those experiences in a real way. I think that separates me from the field, in addition to being a teacher.
"During the height of the pandemic, there was a woman who reached out to me and was afraid to go out. She was an elderly woman. She was afraid to go to the grocery store because of the challenges associated with that. In response, we launched a program called Produce in the Parks that allowed people, particularly seniors, to access fresh fruits and vegetables at a park where they could pay with SNAP and EBT. By solving one person's problem, we were able to solve the problem for hundreds of people. That's the kind of leadership I've exhibited at the local level and that's the job of a Congressperson. Your job is to deliver the best and the highest quality constituent services."
WPRI 12 - RI-01 Democratic Congressional Primary Debate - John Goncalves - Closing Statement
"I grew up in a single-parent household. And despite growing up in poverty, I remember when I was 12 years old, my mom would go around to every single event that Congressman Cicilline was having and say, 'Mayor, help my son — please — get into this school.' That took me on the path from Providence Public Schools to Brown University.
Washington isn't working for us. We need a fierce leader at the federal level who's going to fight for affordable housing. Someone who's going to fight for our climate crisis. Someone who's going to fight for reproductive rights. Someone who is going to put you first. That's exactly why I'm in this race. And I hope I can earn your support on September 5th."
NBC 10 (WJAR) - RI-01 Democratic Congressional Primary Debate - John Goncalves - Cost of Living, Jobs, and Education
"As someone who grew up in poverty, I understand better than anybody on this stage the challenges that people are facing out there. The cost of living is a serious, serious issue that we need to address at the federal level.
Like some of my colleagues here, I agree — we need to address social security. But we can't just keep the status quo on social security. That's why at the federal level, I support the Social Security Expansion Act, which would expand social security benefits to our seniors.
But also the Paycheck Fairness Act, which is something at the Congressional level that I would support to raise wages. We need to make sure that we are investing in jobs and education that put people first, and that's exactly what I would do in Congress."
ABC6 (WLNE) - Meet the Candidates - John Goncalves
"I think there are some distinctions in our platform.
For example, I'm someone who supports the Social Security Expansion Act. So — there are folks who just want to maintain the status quo on social security. I would vote to expand it.
When we think about the cost of housing, the cost of living in Rhode Island — these are big concerns, and I've been doing that work on the ground floor at the local level for years and years, and I think that's an important distinction.
You know — I'm not parachuting in from somewhere else. I've been in the community doing the work. I'm born and bred. You know — I grew up in Providence. I'm a teacher at the Wheeler School. And I think those deep-rooted connections really set me apart in this field, and I think we're going to see that play out on Election Day."
John is rooted in community. John fights for all of us.See all of John's plans for RI-01
John Goncalves is running for Congress to fight for a brighter future for Rhode Island families.
Together, let's move Rhode Island forward.
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