Another Providence Mayor Declines to Be a Good Role Model


With research into the correlation of people’s social and economic outcomes, it quickly becomes clear that almost nothing makes as broad and profound a difference as the nuclear family — with children raised in a household with their married mother and father.  Unfortunately, Providence is on track to have its second mayor in a row to have a child out of wedlock:

The mayor and his partner are going to be parents.

A spokesman for Mayor Jorge Elorza confirmed that the city’s mayor and his girlfriend of four years, Stephanie Gonzalez, are expecting a child.

Elorza, 41, and Gonzalez, 31, first met in 2013 at Central Falls Mayor James Diossa’s inauguration, according to a Providence Journal profile that featured the couple. They began running together – sometimes four times a week – and the friendship turned romantic.

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The couple has been together for a number of years, and Elorza may very well follow his predecessor, Angel Taveras, and marry the mother of his child after the child’s birth.  The headline, “Providence Mayor Elorza, girlfriend expecting a baby,” is still detrimental, though.

Marriage is, above all, a cultural institution.  Responsible people who don’t ultimately require some sort of document proclaiming their commitment to each other pay into the institution by reinforcing the expectation that couples who do that which creates children will be married.  If they act as good role models and set cultural norms, then those who are less responsible, or at risk of becoming so, will be more likely to do the right thing.

Unfortunately, Elorza is a progressive, and successful progressives often live according to the principle that others should do as they say, not as they do.  That is, they do what is good and right for their own families while downplaying the secrets of their success.  Paired with public policies that also don’t reinforce behaviors that lead to human flourishing, they ultimately create a chasm across which those who start out disadvantaged cannot cross… at least without seeking favor from the ruling party.

  • Rhett Hardwick

    I have to agree with Justin, an out of wedlock child is not a symbol of commitment, it is a symbol of a lack of commitment. Things do change. About 20 years ago I went to the Massachusetts Dept, of Vital Statistics to obtain a birth certificate (not mine). Before I could get a copy, I had to give the name to a clerk who would look at it first. I asked the reason. Up until about the 1940’s birth certificates of out of wedlock children were stamped “ILLIGITIMATE”.

  • Ron Ruggieri

    Most people in America benefit from a loving -legally married- mother AND father. But it is not fair that millions of poor kids are dependent on not one but TWO dysfunctional parents . Capitalism encourages the perverse notion of children as private property and therefore private responsibility. Nuclear families live in isolated, self-centered social ” bubbles ” preoccupied with vapid consumerism- a breeding ground for a nation of neurotics.
    Asking a poor kid with dysfunctional parents ” what do you want to be when you grow up ? ” is a mean spirited joke.
    Idealizing the present day nuclear family is as fatuous as idealizing the FREE MARKET – which is often clueless about social justice or even social sanity.
    The blind acceptance of the capitalist way of life is just not very intelligent and not very ethical.