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Oct 26, 2023

In this week’s episode, co-host Ryan Coonerty talks to Representative Leonela Felix about her journey from the Dominican Republic to the Rhode Island legislature. She discusses her career in immigration law, how she developed an interest in policy after listening to stories in her community, and how her path to public service was influenced by her work with nonprofits and mobilizing the Latino community in Pawtucket. The conversation also delves into Felix's efforts to promote diverse voices and experiences and improve ethics standards in government. In addition, she talks about her passion for criminal justice reform, and how she balances public service with her other day job and her personal life. Tune in for an inspiring conversation and to learn why you should visit Rhode Island on your next getaway.



  • [01:06] Introducing Rhode Island Representative Leonela Felix. 

  • [01:54] Her experience of moving from the Dominican Republic to Rhode Island.

  • [03:24]What motivated Representative Felix to run for office. 

  • [5:09] What it was like to run during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • [6:33] Moving from an advocacy role into her seat as a representative. 

  • [07:20] The importance of having Black, Indigenous, Asian American, and Pacific Islander voices.

  • [08:39] Her efforts to support working families, reform the penal system, and protect choice. 

  • [12:28] The importance of personal experiences in policy and decision-making.

  • [13:05] Expanding definitions for inclusivity. 

  • [14:51] Juggling between part-time legislature and a full-time job. 

  • [17:18] The role of ethics in government. 

  • [19:06] Opportunities in legal reform, funding the public transport system, and parental economic support.

  • [20:24] Representative Felix’s efforts to push new bills that address affordable housing and stability.