Cynthia Mendes is a Democrat representing District 18 (East Providence, Pawtucket) in the Rhode Island Senate.
First elected to the Senate in November 2020, she has been active on a number of issues in the legislature.
She has sponsored a proposal to study implementation of a Medicare-for-all, single-payer health care program in Rhode Island, and cosponsored a resolution calling on Congress to adopt a similar program nationally.
She has sponsored bills to require the Department of Environmental Management to identify environmental justice focus areas throughout the state; set new communications requirements for health insurers; exempt artists, writers and composers in East Providence's arts zone from personal income tax; require public schools to provide feminine hygiene products; set standardized procedures for asset forfeitures across all crimes; expand dental coverage and require preexisting condition coverage; require state contractors to provide affirmative action and equal employment opportunity plans; and address the pay gaps for women and people of color.
She is of Puerto Rican and Cape Verdean decent and proudly serves as a member of the Rhode Island Legislative Black and Latino Caucus. She also was elected to serve on the executive committee of the Rhode Island Democratic Women's Caucus.
Sen. Mendes was born June 14, 1980. She has one daughter, Francesca, who is an artist and actively volunteers with her mom to serve our unhoused fellow Rhode Islanders.
Sen. Mendes earned a certificate in Theological Studies, was a Certified Orthodontic Assistant and Dental Radiology Technician, and earned an Associate's Degree in Social Science.
She spent much of her career in health care as a Clinical Supervisor and Treatment Coordinator in the dental field. She has also worked as Manager of Employee Benefits and Culture at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rhode Island. She is currently a Project Manager at Renew New England.