In the 1970s, Dr. Rita Marinho, then Rita Moniz, was a fiery member of New Bedford City Council.
As a councilor for Ward Five, she was the first Portuguese-American woman to sit on the council. She made headlines in the late 1970s when she and Ward Six Councilor Ralph Saulnier challenged then-mayor John Markey’s authority over how community development money should be spent.
In addition to her political career, Dr. Marinho was a full professor at Southeastern Massachusetts University, now UMass Dartmouth. She was also the first Portuguese-American woman to serve on the YWCA National Council.
Dr Marinho also spent time in the media, hosting a radio show on WBSM and later offering election analysis on local cable news channel 13. Dr Marinho produced a seminal study contrasting the political behavior of Portuguese Americans in New Bedford and Providence. . This study is now part of the Library of Congress.
Dr Marinho joined Town square sunday by phone this week. She now resides in Florida where she writes, continues her genealogical research and plays competitive bridge.
Dr Marinho is also an author. She recently published a novel titled Lustful Vengeance: a romance novel from Portugal. The book combines a factual family history with a fictional account of his two paternal grandparents. âFamily secrets, adventures, betrayal and forbidden love, the book has it all,â she said. The eBook is available on Amazon.
The interview with Dr Rita Marinho can be listened to here:
Town square sunday is a weekly public affairs program that airs Sunday mornings on 1420 WBSM. The program highlights the people and organizations working to make the South Coast a better place to live and work.
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