My name is Deni Taveras and I am running for re-election for County Council in District 2. I have lived here for over ten years and have grown to deeply care for district residents. I am running for re-election because we deserve better public schools, safer, cleaner streets and sustainable economic development. These are the things I commit to fighting for on your behalf. Let me tell you a little about my story and how arrived at this decision to run.
Humble Beginnings, Bold Dreams
I was born and raised in Harlem, New York. From humble immigrant beginnings, my parents immigrated to New York, where they met. My mother was employed as a factory worker and my dad worked as a taxi driver. After losing my mom at the age of four, and my dad, who was murdered when I was eight, I was raised by my maternal grandmother.
My grandmother, who had a first-grade education, taught me the value of hard work and persistence. All she could do was send me to public schools from K-12. I was blessed to have her until my junior year in college.
I understand firsthand the struggles of those with limited financial resources and limited language skills. I saw how my grandmother struggled to make ends meet sewing piece work. My escape from our daily struggles was reading and attending school. I read as many books as I could and worked hard in school. I knew my grandmother could not afford to send me to college, so a scholarship was my only route.
Believes Everyone Deserves a Quality Education
I earned a BA from Barnard College and an MS from the University of Utah, both in the field of chemistry. I subsequently went to work for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under former administrator, Lisa P. Jackson, who recommended that I attend Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. At Princeton University, I earned a dual master’s degree in public affairs and urban regional planning, with a certificate in science, technology, and environmental policy. After Princeton, I moved to the District of Columbia before settling in Adelphi where I believed my skills were needed most.
A Fighter for all Communities
Over the past ten years, I have been a strong pro-social justice and pro-choice advocate while seeking to improve the lives of working families and those in urban communities. I have fought for environmental justice, served in response to Hurricane Katrina, developed re-entry program strategies for formerly incarcerated individuals, and worked on a multitude of issues including the Dream Act Referendum. Along the way, I have built strong coalitions and alliances within and outside of my community.
I am a person of action. As president of my homeowner's association at Presidential Park, I quintupled reserves, reduced delinquency rates, and improved public safety standards, which have contributed to increased property values. As a community leader, I have also taught at a local juvenile detention center and served the future leaders of our state as an instructor at the University of Maryland, College Park. I am committed to bringing my skills and experience to the County Council to make a better Prince George's County for all.
If you share my vision that you deserve better public schools, safer, cleaner streets and increased sustainable economic development, I humbly ask for your continued support.