Matt Jerzyk (class of 2008) arrived at RWU with impressive academic credentials (a magna cum laude graduate of Brown) and a track record of leadership in progressive politics: he had advised the Governor's Commission on Race, Police and Community Relations, co-authored legislation creating a police civilian review board in Providence, and was the founding executive director of Rhode Island Jobs with Justice, a labor and community coalition with over forty organizational members. Matt was a terrific student at RWU Law (by chance, he was assigned to my Torts class and boy did he display smarts and a passion for the rights of the little guy in our many in-and-out-of-class discussions!). In his 3 years in law school he was a member of our Honors Program, founded our chapter of the progressive law group, the American Constitutional Association, and the state's most popular political blog.
After graduating, he joined a top personal injury firm (DeLuca & Weizenbaum) and was recognized as a “Rising Star” in RI. Read my earlier blog about the Providence Journal's "People to Watch in 2009" list.
Now Matt is returning to public service, as the Director of Government Relations for the terrific new mayor of Providence, Angel Tavares. Below is a press report on the move. Way to go Matt!
BREAKING NEWS: Jerzyk to City Hall
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Providence Mayor-elect Angel Taveras has appointed GoLocal MINDSETTER™ Matthew Jerzyk Director of Government Relations and Senior Counsel to the Mayor, the Taveras transition team said Thursday.
A lawyer at DeLuca and Weizenbaum, Ltd., Jerzyk has been involved in city politics dating back to outgoing-Mayor David Cicilline’s campaign in 2002. The 33 year old founded the progressive political blog Rhode Island’s Future and worked behind the scenes on the Taveras campaign. He graduated from Brown University and Roger Williams Law.The move comes as no surprise to many close to City Hall. Jerzyk is credited with constructing the strategy that allowed Taveras to win a four-way Democratic primary before cruising to victory in the general election. It was long rumored that he would be joining the mayor-elect’s new administration.
Taveras also named Gonzalo Cuervo his Deputy Chief of Staff. A longtime Cicilline staffer, Cuervo joins the Taveras team after an unsuccessful run at City Council in Ward 9. The transition team’s press release said he is currently on the advisory board at Community Works RI. Cuervo attended Springfield College.
“I am excited that Matthew and Gonzalo are joining my administration,” Mayor-elect Taveras said. “Matthew will be using his legal and government relations background to promote our policy agenda to move Providence forward. Gonzalo will build our team through his first-rate communications skills and complex understanding of how government works.”