Diaz (D) has represented the people of District 11 in Providence since first
being elected in November 2004. She was named the Democratic Caucus Chair in
January 2015, which makes her a member of the House Leadership Team. She is the
first vice chair of the House Special Legislation Committee and is a member of
the House Finance Committee, the House Conduct Committee, the House Rules
Committee and the House Small Business Committee. She is the chairwoman of the
Legislative Commission on Child Care in Rhode Island.
the 2021 session, Representative Diaz sponsored the Student
Success Act, which grants in-state tuition rates to all Rhode
Islanders, regardless of immigration status. She also sponsored a new law that requires
the posting of notices in hotels with a number to call when witnessing
signs of human trafficking.
the 2019 session, she worked to restore a program that provides fare-free bus
passes to low-income seniors and elderly Rhode Islanders, making the program
permanent. She also introduced a law that allows a person to make arrangements
for the payment of motor vehicle fines or costs, and permit a person to request
an ability-to-pay hearing before a license is suspended for failure to pay such
fines or costs.
among Representative Diaz’s priorities has been an overhauling of the Rhode
Island Child Care Assistance Program, which helps low-income working families
pay for child care. The child care assistance rates in Rhode Island were well
below the recommended levels to ensure equal access to high-quality child care.
Representative Diaz had submitted legislation for to establish a tiered child
care reimbursement rate system. In 2018, it was included in the state budget
and signed into law.
that same session, she introduced a law requiring insurers to treat behavioral
health counseling and medication maintenance visits the same as
primary health care visits when determining patient cost-sharing. The
legislation is aimed at better achieving parity between mental health coverage
and primary health coverage for Rhode Islanders.
2017, the General Assembly passed a law she introduced that requires physicians
to discuss the potential
of addiction with patients before prescribing opioids. She also
successfully introduced the All Students Count Act, which requires the
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to use separate collection
categories and tabulations for specified Asian ethnic groups in every
demographic report on ancestry or ethnic origins of residents.
several years, every Nov. 14, Representative Diaz has hosted the World
Diabetes Day celebration at the Rhode Island State House to spread
the word about how to take control of the disease. She has also hosted the
State House’s Child Care Awareness Day annually for the past several years.
Diaz holds both bachelor and master’s degrees from Springfield College, which
she earned in 2008 and 2010 respectively. A native of the Dominican Republic,
she graduated from Los Angeles Custodios High School in 1977.
Diaz is the MBE/WBE Outreach Director for the Office of Economic Opportunity at
the City of Providence.
Diaz is the first vice chair of the Rhode Island Democratic Party. She is also a member of the National
Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO), Women in Government, National
Hispanic State Legislators and the Rhode Island Black and Latino Caucus.
Diaz has five children: Maria, Gisselle, Ruben, Felix and Cristian, and six
grandchildren: Nehemiah, Kariana, Xavier, Anelle, Zoe and Amaih Gracemarie.