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Public service is personal for Laura Rodriguez-Carbone, who recently announced her candidacy for Lakewood City Council, Ward 1.
Speaking before a crowd including several elected officials, Rodriguez-Carbone said that good government can be the crucial difference in everyday lives. She cited her own family’s struggle with poverty as an example.
“If it weren’t for government and community programs and assistance, I don’t know where I, or my family, would be,” Rodriguez-Carbone said.
Neither her mother or father completed high school, and their limited opportunities forced Rodriguez-Carbone to drop out, as well; while in her teens she worked two jobs to maintain basic shelter for her family.
Rodriguez-Carbone credits help from others, including government assistance, for allowing her to hang on and eventually complete a high school degree, as well as a Bachelor’s and Master’s.
“While enrolled in college, I felt called to give back, in any way I could,” she said at her January 12 campaign announcement.
During the event, one speaker after another testified to Rodriguez-Carbone’s work since, as a volunteer, activist and community leader. Those speaking in support included State Representative Mike Skindell; Lakewood City Council member Tristan Rader; Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus Political Director Steve Holecko; and South Euclid City Council member Sara Continenza.
The audience heard stories of Rodriguez-Carbone’s wide-ranging community involvement, from her volunteer support of progressive campaigns, to her job promoting organ donation with LifeBanc, to her active leadership on Lakewood’s Foundation Planning Task Force.
State Senator Nickie Antonio also spoke, after the formal program’s completion, and concluded the afternoon with a succinct message.
“Laura has been amazing,” said Antonio. “I’m very excited about you running.”
Matt Kuhns is a freelance graphic designer, and occasional author.