Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos makes history while sworn into office
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Rhode Island officially has a new Lieutenant Governor.
Former Providence City Council President Sabina Matos was sworn into office Wednesday morning becoming the 70th Lieutenant Governor and making history as the first Afro-Latina woman in her position in the Ocean State.
“I feel honored to have this opportunity, but at the same time, I know the responsibility that I have,” Lt. Governor Matos said. “When you are the first sometimes if you make a mistake, it’s going to reflect on the residents of your community, which isn’t fair. So, I promised my community that I’m going to work really hard to make them proud.”
Lieutenant Governor Matos was joined by the Secretary of State, Governor Dan McKee, and her family as she was sworn into office. Her first order of business was picking a Chief of Staff, which is former Rhode Island Auditor General Ernie Almonte.
“The experience that he has already by working with different cities and towns on the role of the auditor general, I think it’s very important to have that knowledge,” Lt. Governor Matos said.
Matos says she does not plan on sitting in the background and wants to make housing her main priority.
“What I noticed in Providence is that you can find housing for the high-end, but if we want our teachers or police officers to live in the city, we didn’t have housing available for them,” Lt. Governor Matos said.
The coronavirus and vaccinations are also high up on her list. She says she’s focused on increasing access and getting shots in the arms of those in minority communities.
“We need to increase access in those communities to make sure individuals who don’t have the transportation to go far away, that don’t have the technology and knowledge are able to register,” Lt. Governor Matos said.
With the pressure of helping the Ocean State recover from the coronavirus, she says she and Governor McKee will work hand in hand to get communities back on their feet.
“We have a lot of policies in which we agree on, but it would be naive to think we’re going to agree all the time,” Lt. Governor Matos said. “I think we’re going to have differences, but the important thing is how we handle those differences.”
As Matos steps into her new role, she leaves an old one behind. The Lieutenant Governor officially resigned as President of the Providence City Council Wednesday morning, effectively handing the baton over to Councilman John Igliozzi.