After last Thursday night’s Providence City Council Ordinance Committee meeting in which the proposal to establish a $15 an hour living wage for hotel workers was to be discussed and voted on was cancelled, many of the women and men who made the effort to engage with their government were abandoned in City Hall with no way to speak to their government.
As Jenny Norris, MSW, said to me, “There are many, many, many, many, many barriers that prevent people from participating in government and policy discussions. What a shame it is when people actively overcome a lot those barriers only to be blindsided by a cancellation…”
Still, the women wanted to speak out, to directly address both the City Council and Mayor Angel Taveras. My camera caught them outside the Mayor’s locked office, and over the next few days I’ll be releasing their statements.
First up is Santa Brito. Santa has been a fierce advocate for hotel worker’s rights. She was fired from the hotel, possibly for her unionization efforts, shortly after giving birth to her child. The first video is translated into English, the second video is in the original Spanish.