Maria Regan Gonzalez elected next mayor of Richfield and state's first Latina mayor
Maria Regan Gonzalez has been elected Richfield’s next mayor following the Midterm Election held on November 6. In her race, she received 96.25 percent of the votes cast.
She is filling the seat previously held by Pat Elliott. Regan Gonzalez’s term will run through 2022.
Regan Gonzalez has represented Richfield’s eastside residents as the Ward 3 councilmember since being elected in 2016.
Even prior to serving on the city council, service was always a big part of Regan Gonzalez’s life. Her parents encouraged her to get involved in her community. That passion for service eventually led her to run for a seat on the Richfield City Council.
“Originally, I ran for city council because I wanted to make sure that city services were accessible to all residents,” explained Regan Gonzalez.
Though her time on the city council has been brief, Regan Gonzalez and her city council counterparts have shepherded in many initiatives and projects that will impact Richfield for decades to come.
Specifically, they have passed ordinances aimed at protecting youth from tobacco products, expanded affordable housing options, authorized reconstruction of some of Richfield’s busiest roads, and ushered in a redevelopment boom of more than $200 million.
However, it is the smaller accomplishments that Regan Gonzalez is most proud of.
“It is an honor to contribute to major changes in Richfield, but it is just as rewarding to connect residents with staff to accomplish day-to-day and quality-of-life improvements for our families,” said Regan Gonzalez. “Recently, I was informed that a heavily used bus stop on the east side did not have a shelter to protect its patrons from inclement weather. Residents, myself, along with city staff, were able to work together to repurpose a shelter from another less utilized stop. It is solutions like that that I truly enjoy.”
Regan Gonzalez’s vision for Richfield revolves around the rapid change the city is experiencing.
“A lot of new families and businesses are moving to Richfield. This has led to many changes within the city. Both new and long-term residents are anxious about these changes,” said Regan Gonzalez. “My biggest priority is to build bridges between residents of different backgrounds, facilitate the change the city is experiencing in a way that will benefit all and make sure everyone feel welcome and safe.”
She also wants to engage more residents in the change process by getting their input early in the development of city-wide initiatives.
Regan Gonzalez believes that one of Richfield’s biggest strengths for today and the future is its diversity.
“Richfield is growing and diversifying,” acknowledged Regan Gonzalez. “As a city, that provides us with a lot of worldviews and assets that we can leverage to help Richfield thrive.”
Upon taking office, Regan Gonzalez will become Minnesota’s and Richfield’s first Latina mayor, but she credits strong female trailblazers such as the current Ward 2 council member Edwina Garcia, the Richfield’s League of Women Voters, and former mayor Debbie Goettel for leading the way.
As Regan Gonzalez prepares to take office she wants residents to take pleasure in the opportunity that is ahead of Richfield, as a city.
“I ask residents to please join their neighbors, the city council, staff and Richfield other organizations in navigating the changes that are happening in the city together,” declared Regan Gonzalez. “We have the opportunity to work in partnership to come up with creative solutions to produce the best outcomes for Richfield moving forward.”
Regan Gonzalez will be sworn in January 8, 2019.
Residents interested in contacting mayor-elect Regan Gonzalez can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.