Today Carmen Rivera, educator and community advocate, announced her campaign for Renton City Council Position 2. The position is currently held by Angelina Benedetti who was appointed to the seat in February of this year.
“I am running for Renton City Council because we need decisive leadership to ensure Renton is a place where everyone has an opportunity to succeed,” said Rivera. “Renton means so much not only to my family and I, but to all of us who call here home. My partner and I hope to raise a family here, and were even able to move into the house I grew up in after my parents retired. I see so much hope and opportunity here, and I want to continue to give back to the city that raised me.”
Rivera was born and raised in Renton, with her family arriving in Renton in the 1970’s. Her father was the first Puerto Rican born police officer hired by the Seattle Police Department, and my mother was a small business owner. Together they were able to build a home here and put down roots to achieve the American dream, and they made sure to actively participate in the city that made their dream possible.
“For years our family volunteered at the Renton Salvation Army Food Bank downtown, making sure that we looked out for our neighbors going through hard times,” said Rivera. “As our city recovers from the pandemic, it is critically important that our elected leaders lead with that same service to the community, and take a compassionate approach to ensuring the most marginalized in our community have a seat at the decision making table.”
After graduating from Lindbergh High School (Go Eagles!), Rivera earned a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice with a specialization in Forensic Psychology from Seattle University, as well as a Master’s in Forensic Psychology from the University of Liverpool. Rivera began her career in the Washington State’s Department of Children, Youth, and Families at Echo Glen Children’s Center where she worked for almost five years. During her time there Rivera managed a full caseload of multiple youths, developed their individualized treatment plans, and engaged them in daily, as well as weekly counseling sessions. Rivera then transitioned to work for King County’s Youthsource, working with youth who had dropped out of high school to get them back on track. Rivera is currently an adjunct faculty member at Seattle University’s Criminal Justice Department where she teaches tomorrow’s leaders through a racial and equity lens.
“Renton faces numerous challenges in the coming years: the increasing cost of living, infrastructure concerns, and bringing back many of the small businesses that were devastated as a result of the pandemic, just to name a few,” said Rivera. We need leaders who will not passively listen to what the community wants, but will actively seek input and direction from those they serve. These are the priorities and values I will bring to the Renton City Council.”
Editor’s note: This is a press release from the candidate’s campaign.