She has been a member of the Providence City Council since 2010, representing the neighborhoods of Elmwood and South Elmwood. She is the sitting Chairwoman on the Committee of City Property, and she is Vice-Chairwoman on the Committee of Ordinances. And during the day, she works as a full-time housekeeper at the Omni Hotel.
Councilwoman Carmen Castillo is the epitome of the American success story. An immigrant from the Dominican Republic, she has been an integral part of the Rhode Island community for more than twenty years. Her career began in room service, but Carmen was advocating for the rights of immigrants, workers, and women long before she was elected to local office.
In her early days of housekeeping, she organized her fellow workers and formed a union, fighting for service employees’ right to better wages and benefits. As Councilwoman, she leads the “Fight for $15” — a movement to have the state’s minimum wage increased to $15 per hour. She supports improvements to the public school system, initiatives that prevent foreclosure, and ordinances that give Providence residents equal opportunities to receive good jobs and fair pay.
How does she manage to do it all? America ReFramed: Councilwoman aims to find out. This independent documentary series follows new leadership along a broader range of gender, ethnic and economic lines, all while delivering compelling stories from the ever-changing contours of society. Carmen's story is one of inspiration and empowerment, and this hour-long feature is a testament to her unparalleled drive and work ethic.
Learn more about Carmen's incredible accomplishments when America ReFramed: Councilwomanairs on March 27 at 8 p.m.